To update members on the current position of Empty Homes, work undertaken and the future development of an Empty Homes Strategy (report of the Executive Director Place enclosed).
Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director Place which provided the Panel with an update on the current position of Empty Homes, work undertaken and the future development of an Empty Homes Strategy.
As the position on the number of long term empty homes was currently quite static, and performance was similar to other authorities, the report laid out proposals for moving forward with regard to how information on empty homes could be reported in the future, as follows:
· It was suggested that, going forward, the consideration of performance be undertaken by the Performance Monitoring Panel.
· The Authority did not currently have an Empty Homes Strategy, but wanted to have one, to address properties that could be brought back into use. The suggestion was that the Authority should have in place a Policy that sustained its current performance, whilst being mindful of other areas with private sector housing that also required focus. It was suggested that a draft Empty Homes Strategy be presented to the Panel for consideration and feedback, at the appropriate time.
Members considered the report, and the following issues arose:
· With regard to the strategy, it was suggested that time frames for various stages within the process should be included.
· In response to a member’s question asking whether there was any correlation between the rural nature of South Holland and the location of empty homes, officers advised that they were not aware of a pattern, but could look into this to ensure information was captured, if necessary.
· Members agreed that the suggestions to refer monitoring of empty homes to Performance Monitoring Panel, and that the Policy Development Panel consider the draft strategy, were sensible.
a) That the progress made on addressing Long Term Empty Homes be noted;
b) That performance on Empty Homes be monitored by the Performance Monitoring Panel; and
c) That further reports to the Panel would relate to the development of an Empty Homes Strategy.