Freedom of Information Request - Long Term Empty Properties

Alex Arthur made this Freedom of Information request to Hertsmere Borough Council

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

The request was successful.

Dear Hertsmere 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

foi, Hertsmere Borough Council

Thank you for your email. Your email has been received and will be
processed.

Emily Dillon, Hertsmere Borough Council

Dear Mr Arthur,

 

I am writing in response to your Freedom of Information request received
8^th May 2019.

Your request has now been considered under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act and/or Environmental Information Regulations and we are
able to respond as follows:

 

 

Your Request:

 

Dear Hertsmere 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

 

 

 

Our Response:

 

1)      The number of properties empty for more than six months as of 8^th
May 2019 was 858, this includes all classes and exemptions but excludes
second homes.

 

2)      We take a proactive approach to reducing empty homes within the
borough and a more detailed explanation of our work can be found in our
Empty Homes Strategy and Empty Homes Action Plan which are available on
the Council’s website.

 

3)      We completed a number of mail outs to all properties empty for
more than six months and made many visits to empty properties.

 

4)      We did not review every property but take a tailored approach to
contacting and visiting properties.

 

5)      We have a separate Empty Homes Strategy which promotes the
importance of reducing empty homes within the borough.

 

6)      No

 

7)      The temporary accommodation costs for 2018 were £1,248,205. Net
cost taking into account rental income was £373,566.

 

8)      Yes, interest free loans are offered to owners to help them bring
eligible properties back into use for sale or to let.

 

If you have any queries about the processing of your request then please
do not hesitate to contact me.  Further information explaining the
Council's process for responding to information requests together with a
complaints/appeals procedure is available in our reception or via our
website at:

 

http://www.hertsmere.gov.uk/councildemoc...

 

The Information Commissioner oversees the application of the Freedom of
Information Act.  You may contact the Information Commissioner at:

 

Information Commissioners Office

Wycliffe House, Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire    SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545700

Website:  www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

 

Please include the above reference number on all correspondence related to
this request.

 

Thank you for your request.

 

Kind regards

 

Information Services

 

 

 

 

 

 

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