Freedom of Information Request - Long Term Empty Properties

Ashleigh Niamir made this Freedom of Information request to South Cambridgeshire District 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.

Ashleigh Niamir

Dear South Cambridgeshire 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

South Cambridgeshire District Council

1 Attachment

Dear Ashleigh Niamir,

RFI: 5193   (SCDC) Long Term Empty Properties

Thank you for your request for information. Your request below will be
forwarded to the appropriate department to answer.

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?

We aim to respond to your request as soon as possible and within 20
working days. In the meantime if you have any questions please contact us.

Yours sincerely

Information Management Team

3C Shared Services

Telephone: 01954 713318 & 01480 388850
Email:
For South Cambridgeshire DC - [email address]
For Cambridge City Council -[email address]
For Huntingdonshire DC - [email address]

3C Shared Services is a strategic partnership between Cambridge City
Council, Huntingdonshire District Council and South Cambridgeshire
District Council

Appeals Process

The Council is committed to transparency and openness, and it is our
intention to comply fully with the laws that govern access to information.
If you have any cause to believe that the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 are not being met by us, please let us know in the
first instance. If you are still dissatisfied you can address your
complaint to the Information Governance Manager, who will undertake an
Internal Review of your case. Further to this you have the subsequent
option to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Copyright

Provision of this information does not automatically infer the right to
copy publish or alter the information. In most cases the Council will own
the copyright of the information provided here, or the information will be
provided under the Open Government Licence (OGL), but the rights to some
information may belong to a third party and if so a re- use licence may be
required. Please contact us for advice.

South Cambridgeshire District Council

1 Attachment

Dear Ashleigh Niamir,

Re: Request for Information (RFI: 5193)  (SCDC) Long Term Empty
Properties...

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?
Thank you for your request for information above, which we have dealt with
under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I hope the following will answer your query:

1) As at 15th May 2019 (closest date match), there were 864 properties
that had been empty for more than 6 months

2) A new charging structure for Council Tax was introduced from April 2019
relating to empty properties.  Homes that are empty for two years or more
will be charged double their regular Council Tax (i.e. an additional
premium of 100%).  As from April 2020, homes that are empty for five years
or more will be charged a 200% premium on top of their regular Council Tax
and from 1 April 2021 homes that are empty for ten years or more will be
charged a 300% premium on top of their regular Council Tax.  It is
anticipated that this increase in Council Tax will incentivise owners to
bring homes back into use.  The Council will also be reviewing its Empty
Homes Strategy during 2019/20

3) Yes, all long-term empty properties were reviewed during Summer 2018,
using internal resource. We also offer general advice and support.  For
example, the Council's private sector leasing scheme, Shire Homes
Lettings, offers homeowners a hassle free way to rent out their properties
with benefits such as guaranteed rental payments and no management fees

4) Yes, see reply to question 3

5) It is referred to within the Greater Cambridge Housing Strategy
published in April 2019

6) No

7) The cost for Bed & Breakfast and hostel/self contained units for
2018/19 was £107,183

8) No this had previously been trialled with little success, but we do
offer to assist re-occupation via Shire Homes Lettings as detailed in
question 3

We aim to provide a high quality service to you and hope that you are
satisfied with this response. If you have any further questions please do
not hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely

Information Management Team

3C Shared Services

Telephone: 01954 713318 & 01480 388850

Email:

For South Cambridgeshire DC - [email address]

For Cambridge City Council -[email address]

For Huntingdonshire DC - [email address]

3C Shared Services is a strategic partnership between Cambridge City
Council, Huntingdonshire District Council and South Cambridgeshire
District Council

Appeals Process

The Council is committed to transparency and openness, and it is our
intention to comply fully with the laws that govern access to information.
If you have any cause to believe that the terms of the FOI Act or EIR
Regulations are not being met by us, please let us know in the first
instance. If you are still dissatisfied you can address your complaint to
the Information Governance Manager who will undertake an Internal Review
of your case. Internal review requests should be submitted within two
months of the date of receipt of the response to your original request.
Further to this you have the subsequent option to contact the Information
Commissioner's Office.

Copyright

Provision of this information does not automatically infer the right to
copy publish or alter the information. In most cases the Council will own
the copyright of the information provided here, or the information will be
provided under the Open Government Licence (OGL), but the rights to some
information may belong to a third party and if so a re- use licence may be
required. Please contact us for advice.