Freedom of Information Request - Long Term Empty Properties

Ashleigh Niamir made this Freedom of Information request to Sevenoaks District Council

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The request was successful.

Ashleigh Niamir

Dear Sevenoaks 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,

Ashleigh

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4 Attachments

Dear Ashleigh Niamir

 

Freedom of Information Request: 356 - 2019

 

Thank you for your request received by Sevenoaks District Council on 14
May 2019.

 

In relation to your enquiry, please find the Council’s response set out
below.

 

Your enquiry was:

 

1.    Can the council confirm their current number of Long Term Empty
Properties as of the 8^th 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?

 

Our response:

 

1.    Based on Council Tax data, the total number of long term empty
properties as of 10^th May 2019 was 499. Please note that 10^th May 2019
is the closest date to 8^th May the Council Tax system can report on.

2.    Our objectives for reducing the number of long term empty properties
in the Sevenoaks District are set out in the ‘Sevenoaks District Empty
Homes Action Plan’. The Action Plan is due to be refreshed but most of the
actions are ongoing and are applicable every year. Please find a copy
attached.

3.    Yes. Work around reducing the number of long term empty properties
is undertaken every year (not just 2018). This is done using internal
resources.

4.    Generally speaking, the majority of cases are reviewed/investigated
as a result of a complaint about a specific property causing concern (from
members of the public, other council departments etc.). However, our
Revenue and Benefits department send out a review form every year to all
long term empty properties, which also includes information on the help
and advice available.

5.    Yes, please find a copy of the strategy by following the below link
(see strategic priority two: improving the quality and use of the existing
housing stock):
[1]https://www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/downloads/f...

6.    No.

7.    In 2018/19, this Council spent a total of £333,773* on all emergency
and temporary accommodation. Please note: This Council does not record
separate financial figures for Emergency and Temporary Accommodation. This
figure relates to all accommodation used as part of our statutory
homelessness duties including all types of interim temporary accommodation
(such as nightly paid properties which are self-contained or have shared
facilities, used as Temporary Accommodation). 

8.    Yes, we are a member of the ‘No Use Empty’ scheme which is
co-ordinated by Kent County Council and this scheme offers interest free
loans of up to £25,000 per property.

 

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