Empty home seized by Wolverhampton Council
Housing bosses in Wolverhampton have seized another of the city’s long-standing empty properties with a view to putting it back on the market and using it in the drive to re-house the city’s neediest families.
The end-terrace house – 1 Clarendon Street, off Tettenhall Road – will be acquired by means of a compulsory purchase order, members of the council’s cabinet agreed this week.
Wolverhampton currently has a higher proportion of long-term empty homes than the national and regional average, and council housing chiefs are constantly battling to reduce this.
The council’s cabinet member for housing, Councillor Peter Bilson said: “We have a great need for more housing in Wolverhampton and this will be a welcome addition. It goes a long way towards tackling the shortage of good quality housing in the borough.
“The reoccupation of empty properties brings in additional income to the council via the ‘New Homes Bonus’ paid to local authorities as a result of increased housing supply.
“We have already succeeded in regaining a significant number of properties that have been left standing empty across the city. One of the problems that sometimes occurs when this happens is that it can attract complaints or security issues for neighbours and people living nearby.”
The council’s director of housing Kate Martin added: “This particular property has been unoccupied since the end of February 2011, and for the past 18 months members of our department have been trying to make contact with several different parties claiming to have an interest.
“It also has a number of external damages and requires considerable refurbishment. However, no-one has come forward to resolve the issue of ownership or done anything towards carrying out any repair work.”
The council’s ‘Empty Properties Strategy’ is designed to provide additional housing for people, whilst at the same time generating additional civic income by reintroducing vacant properties as new housing stock.
A spokesman for Wolverhampton Homes said: “Bringing properties back into residential use under this strategy improves the appearance of neighbourhoods, enhances property conditions and contributes to the regeneration of the city.
“Putting an empty property back into use also reduces any anxiety associated with crime and the fear of crime that living next to an empty house can cause.”
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