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Issue - meetings

Response to the council motion on Empty Homes (July 2019)

Meeting: 19/03/2020 - Executive (Item 108)

108 Empty Property Report pdf icon PDF 473 KB

The Assistant Director of Housing & Community Safety to present a report which provides a response to a motion approved by Full Council in July 2019 regarding long-term empty properties in York, including options to address this issue.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved:  That Option 2 be approved, and that:

 

(i)           The current strategy and level of resource within the Housing Standards and Adaptations Team be continued.

 

(ii)         Healthy Homes interventions continue to be carried out, to focus on providing the necessary support to homeowners living in poor housing conditions and to bring back into use empty properties that are in moderate or good condition, with information about homes found to be no longer empty to be shared with Council Tax teams.

 

(iii)        A progress report and review be provided to the Executive Member for Housing & Community Safety after 6 months.

 

Reason:     While the proportion of empty properties in the City of York is very low and a significant number of those reported as empty were found to be occupied, there is a need to ensure that the council does everything possible to bring viable empty properties back into use.

Minutes:

Members considered a report of the Assistant Director for Housing & Community Safety which provided a response to a motion approved by Council on 17 July 2019 regarding long-term empty properties in York. 

 

The motion sought to increase the council tax premium charged to owners of empty properties to 300% and asked Executive to consider options to further reduce the numbers of such properties.  The increase to the council tax had been approved by Executive on 29 August 2019 as part of the Performance Monitor report (Minute  of that meeting refers). 

 

In respect of the second part of the motion, it was stressed that the number of long term empty properties in York was low, as indicated in the appendices to the report.  However, the following options were available, as detailed in paragraphs 17-23:

Option 1 – continue with the current strategy and level of resources (one half time officer – 0.5 FTE).

Option 2 – as Option 1, plus a review and a progress report after 6 months to the Executive Member for Housing & Community Safety. 

Option 3 – increase the resource by 0.5 FTE to provide additional capacity.

 

Option 2 was recommended, on the basis that officers believed current capacity was sufficient to continue to monitor the situation and support property owners but that it was essential to ensure the council did everything possible to bring viable empty properties back into use.  This option was supported by the Executive Member, whose comments were reported at the meeting. Having also noted the comments of the Labour Group on this item, it was

 

Resolved:  That Option 2 be approved, and that:

 

(i)           The current strategy and level of resource within the Housing Standards and Adaptations Team be continued.

 

(ii)         Healthy Homes interventions continue to be carried out, to focus on providing the necessary support to homeowners living in poor housing conditions and to bring back into use empty properties that are in moderate or good condition, with information about homes found to be no longer empty to be shared with Council Tax teams.

 

(iii)        A progress report and review be provided to the Executive Member for Housing & Community Safety after 6 months.

 

Reason:     While the proportion of empty properties in the City of York is very low and a significant number of those reported as empty were found to be occupied, there is a need to ensure that the council does everything possible to bring viable empty properties back into use.


 

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