Long Term Empty Properties

A McIntosh made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to South Lakeland District Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear South Lakeland District Council,

I am writing to you to request the following information under the Freedom of Information Act:

1) Can the council confirm their current number of Long Term Empty Properties as of the 8th May (those domestic properties which have been empty for six months or older)
2) What work is the council currently undertaking or planning to undertake around reducing their long term empty properties in 2019?
3) During 2018 did you undertake any work around reducing your Long Term Empty Properties. If you did was this done using internal resource or a third party?
4) If yes is the answer to question three, did the council review every single long term property
5) Does the reduction of empty homes in the council area form part of your Housing strategy?
6) Does the council have a budget in place to help support the reduction of empty properties?
7) How much did the council spend on temporary accommodation during 2018?
8) Does the council offer financial support /loans to Long Term Empty property owners to help them bring properties back into use?

Yours faithfully,

A McIntosh

FOI, South Lakeland District Council

Information Request
 
Thank you for your email.  This is to acknowledge receipt of your
request.  Your request will be handled by an officer who will respond
under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or Environmental
Information Regulations 2004 as appropriate.

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required to pay before I will proceed to deal with your request.

You will receive the information requested within 20 working days unless
the Council does not hold the information or there is a reason for it to
be withheld. I will write to you in any event.
 
Whilst it is the Council policy to provide information wherever possible,
I need to advise you that there are a number of exemptions under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 or Exceptions under the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004.  These may prevent the Council from
releasing all or some of the information you have asked for.   You will,
however, be informed if this is the case and we will explain why.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Paul Mountford | Principal Performance & Intelligence Officer
South Lakeland District Council, South Lakeland House, Lowther Street,
Kendal, Cumbria LA9 4DQ
Tel: 01539 733333
Email: [1][South Lakeland District Council request email] 
Website: [2]www.southlakeland.gov.uk  
 

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South Lakeland District Council

Making South Lakeland the best place to live, work and explore

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FOI, South Lakeland District Council

Dear A McIntosh,

 

I am writing in respect of your recent enquiry for information held by the
Council, I will respond under the provisions of the Freedom of Information
Act.

 

You asked the following:

 

 1. Can the council confirm their current number of Long Term Empty
Properties as of the 8th May (those domestic properties which have
been empty for six months or older)
 2. What work is the council currently undertaking or planning to
undertake around reducing their long term empty properties in 2019?
 3. During 2018 did you undertake any work around reducing your Long Term
Empty Properties. If you did was this done using internal resource or
a third party?
 4. If yes is the answer to question three, did the council review every
single long term property 5)Does the reduction of empty homes in the
council area form part of your Housing strategy?
 5. Does the council have a budget in place to help support the reduction
of empty properties?
 6. How much did the council spend on temporary accommodation during 2018?
 7. Does the council offer financial support /loans to Long Term Empty
property owners to help them bring properties back into use?

 

I confirm the Council holds the information requested and can confirm the
following:

 

1.       There were 987 homes empty and unfurnished over six months at
30th April 2019

2.       The council has an Empty Homes Grants Management Scheme in
partnership with South Lakes Housing Association to help manage repairs
and rent to those on the housing register at an affordable rent. We are
currently working with our second owner to bring their home back into use
with a 5-year grant condition for rental. We have lots of options for
owners to find out about on our empty homes web-pages, including
signposting to homes-matching services.  We also provide VAT letters for
owners to save 15% VAT on lots of repairs costs, provided their home has
been empty two or more years.  We contact owners regularly, mainly
targeting those whose homes have been empty for over a year.

3.       Yes I refer you to point 2 as this work is ongoing year on year. 
Everything we do is using internal resources.  The Grants scheme is in
partnership with a local housing association, but the council provides the
grants.

4.       No, we did not review every single long-term property.  As
explained in the answer to point 2) we mainly aim our contact at owners of
homes empty one year or more.  It is our experience that our resources and
time are better spent on homes empty over one year, as owners tend to
repair/sell or occupy within the first year of the property being empty.

5.       Yes.  We also have a ‘stand-alone’ Empty Homes Strategy and
Action Plan which we review.

6.       Yes, we currently have some funding for the Empty Homes Grants
Management Scheme for the year 2019/2020.

7.       £18,104.41

8.       yes, grants.  Please see answer to point 2, our Empty Homes Grant
Management Scheme.  Owners are also able to ‘match-fund’ our total grant
figure if repairs costs exceed the grant.

 

You are free to use any information supplied for your own personal use.
However, any other type of re-use, for example, by publishing the
information or issuing copies to the public will require the permission of
the copyright owner.

 

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your request, you have the
right to ask us to review our handling of your request. Any request for an
Internal Review must be made in writing within 40 days of this response.
Should you wish to request a review, please email
[1][South Lakeland District Council request email] or write to Paul Mountford, Principal
Performance and Intelligence Officer at the address below. Our Internal
Review Process is available on our [2]website.

 

Should you remain dissatisfied following our internal review, you can
refer the matter directly to the Information Commissioner.

 

Further information is available from the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office,

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

[3]www.ico.org.uk

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Emma

Emma Nichols | Community Engagement Officer

South Lakeland District Council, South Lakeland House, Lowther Street,
Kendal, Cumbria LA9 4DQ

Tel: 01539 733333 | Direct Tel: 01539 793268 | Email:
[4][South Lakeland District Council request email]

Website: [5]www.southlakeland.gov.uk

 

South Lakeland District Council Making South Lakeland the best place to
live, work and explore

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

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References

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1. mailto:[South Lakeland District Council request email]
2. https://www.southlakeland.gov.uk/your-co...
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4. mailto:[South Lakeland District Council request email]
5. http://www.southlakeland.gov.uk/