Dear Stoke on Trent City 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, Stoke on Trent City Council

Dear A McIntosh

 

Your request for information ref. SOT78969

 

Thank you for your request for information about the city council's long
term empty properties and actions taken to reduce the numbers.  Your
request was received by the Information Rights Team on 20 May 2019.  This
is being dealt with under the terms of the appropriate Information Rights
legislation.

 

In some circumstances we may charge for information.  If there is a charge
we will let you know, If there is a charge we will let you know, as you
will be required to pay this before we deal with your request.

 

Some information does not have to be released under this legislation.  We
will check the information you have asked for and send you as much as
possible.  If another person or organisation is named in the information,
we may have to ask their opinion before we decide what we can give you.

 

You should expect to receive a response to your request on or before 18
June 2019 in line with the legislation's 20 working day statutory
deadline.

 

For your information we may publish the response to your request on our
City Council's website, which can be found at the following address:
[1]www.stoke.gov.uk.

 

If you have any queries about this email please do not hesitate to contact
us.

 

You can find details of how we handle your personal information by
visiting [2]www.stoke.gov.uk/dataprotection

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Rights Team

 

Information Rights

Floor 2 Civic Centre Glebe Street

Stoke-on-Trent ST4 1HH

City of Stoke-on-Trent 

t 01782 232853, 01782 233020, 01782 233732, 01782 235965

e [3][Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

 

 

 

 

 

Being a foster carer is truly life changing. If you have a spare room and
spare time, even as little as one weekend a month, you can make a real
difference to a child’s life.

Fostering for Stoke-on-Trent City Council offers a rewarding career with
comprehensive training and guidance. [4]Click here for more information.

Manage your council tax online and sign up for paperless billing with our
new online account at [5]www.stoke.gov.uk/onlineaccount - and access it
using the MyStoke app, putting fly-tipping, and litter reporting in your
hands at the touch of a button. Available in the [6]App Store and on
[7]Google Play

show quoted sections

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.stoke.gov.uk/
2. http://www.stoke.gov.uk/dataprotection
3. mailto:[Stoke on Trent City Council request email]
4. https://www.stoke.gov.uk/info/20044/fost...
5. http://www.stoke.gov.uk/onlineaccount
6. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-stoke...
7. https://play.google.com/store/apps/detai...

FOI, Stoke on Trent City Council

Dear A McIntosh

 

Further to your recent request we would be grateful if you will clarify if
it is private housing data that you wish to see.

 

We look forward to hearing from you so that we can continue to process
your request.

 

Kind regards

 

Information Rights Team

 

Information Rights Team

City of Stoke-on-Trent

Housing and Customer Services Directorate

Civic Centre   Glebe Street   Stoke-on-Trent   ST4 1HH

Phone: 01782 232853, 233020, 233732, 235965

Email: [1][Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

 

 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|  |
| |
|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? |
| |
|  |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 

 

 

 

 

From: FOI
Sent: 20 May 2019 15:17
To: '[FOI #577623 email]'
Subject: Your request for information ref. SOT78969

 

Dear A McIntosh

 

Your request for information ref. SOT78969

 

Thank you for your request for information about the city council's long
term empty properties and actions taken to reduce the numbers. Your
request was received by the Information Rights Team on 20 May 2019. This
is being dealt with under the terms of the appropriate Information Rights
legislation.

 

In some circumstances we may charge for information. If there is a charge
we will let you know, If there is a charge we will let you know, as you
will be required to pay this before we deal with your request.

 

Some information does not have to be released under this legislation. We
will check the information you have asked for and send you as much as
possible. If another person or organisation is named in the information,
we may have to ask their opinion before we decide what we can give you.

 

You should expect to receive a response to your request on or before 18
June 2019 in line with the legislation's 20 working day statutory
deadline.

 

For your information we may publish the response to your request on our
City Council's website, which can be found at the following address:
[2]www.stoke.gov.uk.

 

If you have any queries about this email please do not hesitate to contact
us.

 

You can find details of how we handle your personal information by
visiting [3]www.stoke.gov.uk/dataprotection

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Rights Team

 

Information Rights

Floor 2 Civic Centre Glebe Street

Stoke-on-Trent ST4 1HH

City of Stoke-on-Trent

t 01782 232853, 01782 233020, 01782 233732, 01782 235965

e [4][Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

 

 

 

 

 

Being a foster carer is truly life changing. If you have a spare room and
spare time, even as little as one weekend a month, you can make a real
difference to a child’s life.

Fostering for Stoke-on-Trent City Council offers a rewarding career with
comprehensive training and guidance. [5]Click here for more information.

Manage your council tax online and sign up for paperless billing with our
new online account at [6]www.stoke.gov.uk/onlineaccount - and access it
using the MyStoke app, putting fly-tipping, and litter reporting in your
hands at the touch of a button. Available in the [7]App Store and on
[8]Google Play

show quoted sections

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Stoke on Trent City Council request email]
2. http://www.stoke.gov.uk/
3. http://www.stoke.gov.uk/dataprotection
4. mailto:[Stoke on Trent City Council request email]
5. https://www.stoke.gov.uk/info/20044/fost...
6. http://www.stoke.gov.uk/onlineaccount
7. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-stoke...
8. https://play.google.com/store/apps/detai...

Dear FOI Team,

My questions are in relation to the council’s domestic long term empty properties. These are properties that have been empty for 6 months or more which then qualify as “long term”. It is the properties which the council has listed as Long Term Empty at the yearly CTB1 information published in December 2018 that my questions relate to, for example with Q1 I am looking for your latest long term empty property volume (both private and council owned) as this will have likely changed since the end of last year.

Yours sincerely,

A McIntosh

FOI, Stoke on Trent City Council

Dear A McIntosh

Thank you for your clarification, however we need further advice about the data you require.

In your first sentence you have asked for “the council’s domestic long term empty properties”. This could be interpreted as properties owned by the city council, or properties which are located within the city council’s local authority area.

In your last sentence you are asking for both privately owned and council owned properties.

We would be grateful if you could clarify which data you require.

Furthermore could you please clarify your meaning in regard to questions 2 and 3:-

Question 2) What work is the council currently undertaking or planning to undertake around reducing their long term empty properties in 2019?.
- Do you mean the work being carried out or planned to be carried out in regards to the total amount of long term empties in the city or in regards to those properties owned by the city council.

Question 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?
- Again are you referring to all long term empty properties in the city or solely in relation to Council housing Stock?

We look forward to hearing from you so that we can continue to process your request.

Kind regards

Information Rights Team

Information Rights Team
City of Stoke-on-Trent
Housing and Customer Services Directorate
Civic Centre   Glebe Street   Stoke-on-Trent   ST4 1HH
Phone: 01782 232853, 233020, 233732, 235965
Email: [Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

show quoted sections

Dear FOI,

To clarify, regarding question 1; I am requesting information regarding all housing stock both private and council owned.

Regarding question 2; I am querying work being carried out or planned for work within 2019.

Regarding question 3; Again, I am requesting information regarding all housing stock including the council’s long term empty's.

Yours sincerely,

A McIntosh

FOI, Stoke on Trent City Council

Dear Sir/Madam

 

Your request for information ref. SOT78969 about the city council's long
term empty properties and plans to reduce the numbers

 

We have now considered your request and a copy of the information is
attached below.

 

The information supplied may be used for domestic or journalistic
purposes. Its use for commercial gain including issuing to the public,
social media or computer blogs may be subject to the issue of a licence
under the Reuse of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015.

 

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).

 

Response:

 

The number of long term empty properties in the city of Stoke on Trent was
2138. This data is correct as at 16 May 2019.

 

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

 

Response:

 

The City councils Private Sector Housing Empty Homes Team, carries out the
following activities in order to reduce the number of long term empty
properties in the private sector.

 

·         Proactive empty property inspections in order to determine
vacancy or occupation status.

·         Review of council tax data.

·         Carrying out Land Registry searches and liaising with other
internal and external organisations in order to trace empty home owners.

·         Review of Registrations of death along with the probate
register.

·         Provide financial assistant to those members of the North
Staffordshire Landlord Accreditation scheme who own a long term empty
property.

·         Provide advice guidance in regards to how to refurbish empty
properties, provide schedules of work to owners who require technical
guidance.

·         Liaise with the City Councils Building Control and Developmental
Teams to assist private sector empty property owners in bringing their
empty properties back into use.

·         Proactively encourage owners to bring their properties back into
use where complaints have been received via regular site visits, telephone
calls, emails and letters to the owners.

·         Monitoring and review of complaint cases and where appropriate
carry out any necessary enforcement action in order to dealing with any
statutory infractions using the following powers; Building Act 1984; Local
Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982; Environmental Protection
Act 1990; Law & Property Act 1925 Prevention of the Damage by Pests Act
1949; Housing Act 1985 and 2004.

·         Preparation of cases for, enforced sale, order for sale and
bankruptcy proceedings.

·         Empty property data validation checks and property inspections

 

All City Council properties vacant for more than 6 months are either
included within agreed Estate Regeneration programmes, being held vacant
whilst option appraisals are undertaken or undergoing extensive works of
renovation and/ or adaptation.

 

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?

 

Response:

 

Yes, as referenced in response to question 2, efforts to reduce the
numbers of long term private sector empty properties within the city
solely used city council resources.

 

All work carried out to City Council owned properties in 2018 was
undertaken using internal resources.

 

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

 

Response:

 

No, the City Councils Empty Private Sector Empty Homes Team did not review
every single private sector long term empty property in the city.

 

The City Council either has clear plans for its own properties which have
been empty for more than 6 months or is in the process of undertaking an
options appraisal.

 

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

 

Response:

 

Yes, reduction of empty properties is part of our Housing Strategy
2019-2022 and the Empty homes Strategy 2014-2019

 

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

 

Response:

 

Yes, the council has General and Capital Budget.

 

Empty Council properties will be dealt with within the Housing Revenue
Account.

 

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

 

Response:

 

In 2018/19 we spent £150,471.31.

 

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

 

Response:

 

Yes. The Private Sector Housing Team provides financial assistance to
assist existing Landlord Accreditation members to renovate long term empty
properties (empty for 6 months or more) or to encourage new landlords to
invest in the city and assist them in the renovation of their properties
financially. The assistance consists of a grant, the amount being
equivalent to no more than 50% of the cost of eligible works, up to a
maximum of £5,000 grant per application. The landlord contributes the
other 50% or any additional amount above the maximum £10,000 eligible
expense.

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision,
you should write to: The Information Rights Manager, Information Rights
Team, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Floor 2, Civic Centre, Glebe Street,
ST4 1HH, or email [1][Stoke on Trent City Council request email].

 

If, after contacting us, you are not content with the outcome, you may ask
the Information Commissioner for a decision. Before doing this, please see
the following link for guidance from the Information Commissioner relating
to how to use your information rights responsibly and effectively, to
enable you to gain the best outcome from the process -
[2]http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public.

 

Generally, the Information Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you
have already used our internal review procedure. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, tel: 0303 123
1113 or you can visit their website at
[3]https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/

 

You can find details of how we handle your personal information by
visiting [4]www.stoke.gov.uk/dataprotection

Yours sincerely

 

Information Rights Team

 

Information Rights

City of Stoke-on-Trent

Floor 2 Civic Centre Glebe Street Stoke-on-Trent ST4 1HH

T: 01782 232853, 01782 233020, 01782 233732, 01782 235965

E: [5][Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

 

 

 

Dear Stoke on Trent City 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

 

 

 

Being a foster carer is truly life changing. If you have a spare room and
spare time, even as little as one weekend a month, you can make a real
difference to a child’s life.

Fostering for Stoke-on-Trent City Council offers a rewarding career with
comprehensive training and guidance. [6]Click here for more information.

Manage your council tax online and sign up for paperless billing with our
new online account at [7]www.stoke.gov.uk/onlineaccount - and access it
using the MyStoke app, putting fly-tipping, and litter reporting in your
hands at the touch of a button. Available in the [8]App Store and on
[9]Google Play

show quoted sections

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Stoke on Trent City Council request email]
2. http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public
3. https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/
4. http://www.stoke.gov.uk/dataprotection
5. mailto:[Stoke on Trent City Council request email]
6. https://www.stoke.gov.uk/info/20044/fost...
7. http://www.stoke.gov.uk/onlineaccount
8. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-stoke...
9. https://play.google.com/store/apps/detai...

FOI, Stoke on Trent City Council

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

Further to our response to you yesterday we unfortunately have to advise
that the figure given in response to question 1 is incorrect. This should
read 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).

Response:

The number of long term empty properties in the city of Stoke on Trent was
1978. This data is correct as at 11^th June 2019.

 

 

We apologise for our previous error and hope this has not caused any
inconvenience.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Information Rights Team

 

Information Rights

City of Stoke-on-Trent

Floor 2  Civic Centre  Glebe Street  Stoke-on-Trent  ST4 1HH

T: 01782 232853, 01782 233020, 01782 233732, 01782 235965

E: [1][Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

 

 

From: FOI
Sent: 11 June 2019 11:43
To: '[FOI #577623 email]'
Subject: Your request for information ref. SOT78969 about the city
council's long term empty properties and plans to reduce the numbers

 

Dear Sir/Madam

Your request for information ref. SOT78969 about the city council's long
term empty properties and plans to reduce the numbers

We have now considered your request and a copy of the information is
attached below.

The information supplied may be used for domestic or journalistic
purposes. Its use for commercial gain including issuing to the public,
social media or computer blogs may be subject to the issue of a licence
under the Reuse of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015.

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).

Response:

The number of long term empty properties in the city of Stoke on Trent was
2138. This data is correct as at 16 May 2019.

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

Response:

The City councils Private Sector Housing Empty Homes Team, carries out the
following activities in order to reduce the number of long term empty
properties in the private sector.

·         Proactive empty property inspections in order to determine
vacancy or occupation status.

·         Review of council tax data.

·         Carrying out Land Registry searches and liaising with other
internal and external organisations in order to trace empty home owners.

·         Review of Registrations of death along with the probate
register.

·         Provide financial assistant to those members of the North
Staffordshire Landlord Accreditation scheme who own a long term empty
property.

·         Provide advice guidance in regards to how to refurbish empty
properties, provide schedules of work to owners who require technical
guidance.

·         Liaise with the City Councils Building Control and Developmental
Teams to assist private sector empty property owners in bringing their
empty properties back into use.

·         Proactively encourage owners to bring their properties back into
use where complaints have been received via regular site visits, telephone
calls, emails and letters to the owners.

·         Monitoring and review of complaint cases and where appropriate
carry out any necessary enforcement action in order to dealing with any
statutory infractions using the following powers; Building Act 1984; Local
Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982; Environmental Protection
Act 1990; Law & Property Act 1925 Prevention of the Damage by Pests Act
1949; Housing Act 1985 and 2004.

·         Preparation of cases for, enforced sale, order for sale and
bankruptcy proceedings.

·         Empty property data validation checks and property inspections

All City Council properties vacant for more than 6 months are either
included within agreed Estate Regeneration programmes, being held vacant
whilst option appraisals are undertaken or undergoing extensive works of
renovation and/ or adaptation.

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?

Response:

Yes, as referenced in response to question 2, efforts to reduce the
numbers of long term private sector empty properties within the city
solely used city council resources.

All work carried out to City Council owned properties in 2018 was
undertaken using internal resources.

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

Response:

No, the City Councils Empty Private Sector Empty Homes Team did not review
every single private sector long term empty property in the city.

The City Council either has clear plans for its own properties which have
been empty for more than 6 months or is in the process of undertaking an
options appraisal.

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

Response:

Yes, reduction of empty properties is part of our Housing Strategy
2019-2022 and the Empty homes Strategy 2014-2019

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

Response:

Yes, the council has General and Capital Budget.

Empty Council properties will be dealt with within the Housing Revenue
Account.

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

Response:

In 2018/19 we spent £150,471.31.

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

Response:

Yes. The Private Sector Housing Team provides financial assistance to
assist existing Landlord Accreditation members to renovate long term empty
properties (empty for 6 months or more) or to encourage new landlords to
invest in the city and assist them in the renovation of their properties
financially. The assistance consists of a grant, the amount being
equivalent to no more than 50% of the cost of eligible works, up to a
maximum of £5,000 grant per application. The landlord contributes the
other 50% or any additional amount above the maximum £10,000 eligible
expense.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision,
you should write to: The Information Rights Manager, Information Rights
Team, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Floor 2, Civic Centre, Glebe Street,
ST4 1HH, or email [2][Stoke on Trent City Council request email].

If, after contacting us, you are not content with the outcome, you may ask
the Information Commissioner for a decision. Before doing this, please see
the following link for guidance from the Information Commissioner relating
to how to use your information rights responsibly and effectively, to
enable you to gain the best outcome from the process -
[3]http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public.

Generally, the Information Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you
have already used our internal review procedure. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, tel: 0303 123
1113 or you can visit their website at
[4]https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/

You can find details of how we handle your personal information by
visiting [5]www.stoke.gov.uk/dataprotection

Yours sincerely

Information Rights Team

Information Rights

City of Stoke-on-Trent

Floor 2 Civic Centre Glebe Street Stoke-on-Trent ST4 1HH

T: 01782 232853, 01782 233020, 01782 233732, 01782 235965

E: [6][Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

Dear Stoke on Trent City 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

 

 

Being a foster carer is truly life changing. If you have a spare room and
spare time, even as little as one weekend a month, you can make a real
difference to a child’s life.

Fostering for Stoke-on-Trent City Council offers a rewarding career with
comprehensive training and guidance. [7]Click here for more information.

Manage your council tax online and sign up for paperless billing with our
new online account at [8]www.stoke.gov.uk/onlineaccount - and access it
using the MyStoke app, putting fly-tipping, and litter reporting in your
hands at the touch of a button. Available in the [9]App Store and on
[10]Google Play

show quoted sections

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Stoke on Trent City Council request email]
2. mailto:[Stoke on Trent City Council request email]
3. http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public
4. https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/
5. http://www.stoke.gov.uk/dataprotection
6. mailto:[Stoke on Trent City Council request email]
7. https://www.stoke.gov.uk/info/20044/fost...
8. http://www.stoke.gov.uk/onlineaccount
9. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-stoke...
10. https://play.google.com/store/apps/detai...