Empty homes step closer to opening their doors

04 Aug 2017

A number of empty homes are a step closer to re-opening their doors to new tenants, thanks to work by Northumberland County Council.

The council has been given interim Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMOs) for four properties across the county. This means the council can take over the management of those properties and get them back into use.

The next step in the process is for the council to apply for a final EDMO, this would allow the council full control over who any future tenants would be, without having to consult with the
property owner.

The homes included in these initial EDMOs are in Blyth and Ashington. It is hoped that work to repair the homes will start in September, with the first tenants expected to move in later that month.

Using a £750,000 grant from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the council has been able, for the first time, to use it’s powers to initiate the EDMO process. It will be bringing 30 homes, from across the county, back into use.

The council will take over the management of 25 properties, using an EDMO. The council will also purchase five properties, which will be refurbished and once rented, would be managed by the Homes for Northumberland team.

Where possible the work will be done with the consent of and agreement of the landlord or owner. However, if an agreement can not be made the council can take the property from the owner, to secure its future.

Coun John Riddle, Cabinet member for Planning, Housing and Resilience, said: “Empty properties can be a real blight on a community, affecting everything from local businesses to public services, such as schools and transport.

“These EDMOs are the next step in the council’s commitment to providing much needed family homes across the county.

“Thanks to funding from the HCA we will now able to give these properties a new lease of life, and we look forward to welcoming new tenants soon.”

The council is continuing to identify further properties, suitable for the scheme and is asking anyone who lives near a property which has been empty for two or more years to get in touch.  

To report a property contact the private sector housing team on 01670 622299 or email privatesectorhousing@northumberland.gov.uk