Freedom of Information Request - Long Term Empty Properties

The request was successful.

Dear Fylde Borough 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,

Alex Arthur

Sent request to Fylde Borough Council again, using a new contact address.

Ian Curtis, Fylde Borough Council

Thank you for your information request. The council's responses are as
follows:

 

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)

 

Number of dwellings that are classed as empty and have been for more than
6 months and fall to be treated under empty homes discount class D
(formerly Class A exemptions) – 94 as at 30 April 201

 

2)            What work is the council currently undertaking or planning
to undertake around reducing their long term empty properties in 2019?

 

Please see this link:
https://fylde.cmis.uk.com/fylde/Meetings...

 

The Private Sector Enforcement Policy approved by Committee in June 2019
references in regard to empty properties:

 

Subject to available resources, we will work with owners of empty homes to
bring them back into use.

 

Annually the empty residential property position statement is  presented
to Environment Health and Housing.  The most recent change to council tax
for long term empty property was introduced in April 2014. This change

introduced a council tax premium to be levied on properties that had
remained empty for 2 years or more. The premium is an additional 50% of
the council tax charge such that 150% of the council tax for the property

becomes payable. The additional premium complements other council tax
measures that require 100% of the council tax to be paid for months 6-24
of being empty.

 

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?

 

At a meeting of the former policy development scrutiny committee of
November 2013 members resolved that additional actions to deal with empty
properties could only be taken within existing resources and actions the
housing service can take are limited to complaints received from members
of the public. In the financial year 2017-18 there were no such complaints
reported to Housing Services in relation to empty properties.
Environmental Health Service received two complaints in regard to rubbish
accumulation and over grown gardens.

 

4)         If yes is the answer to question three, did the council review
every single long term property

 

n/a

 

5)         Does the reduction of empty homes in the council area form part
of your Housing strategy?

 

The reduction in empty homes forms part of our Private Sector Enforcement
Policy.

 

6)         Does the council have a budget in place to help support the
reduction of empty properties?

 

There is no specific budget as actions are taken within existing resources
of the housing service in responding to complaints received.

 

7)         How much did the council spend on temporary accommodation
during 2018?

 

The Council spent on temporary accommodation £42,437.38, which is offset
by  £25,631.96 income from Housing Benefit.  Therefore the total cost was
£16,805.43.

 

Temporary accommodation was leased during 2018/19 from two Registered
Provider and within that agreement there is a need for the Council to
cover damage and void costs.  This cost for 18/19 £14,988.55.

 

 

8)         Does the council offer financial support /loans to Long Term
Empty property owners to help them bring properties back into use?

 

No.

 

show quoted sections