80 Homes a Year Brought Back to Life In Central Bedfordshire

  • During this week’s Empty Homes Week (28 February to 6 March), Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) are making the public aware of the steps it can take to bring empty homes back into use.

In the past 10 years, 816 long term empty homes have been brought back into use – around 80 every year. A home can become empty for any number of reasons including if the owner has passed away with no next of kin, has moved away or is unable to afford renovation costs.

The Council can help owners of empty homes bring their properties back into use, offering financial assistance and advice to help renovations. On some occasions, they will offer to refurbish and rent out the property on behalf of the owner using their Let’s Rent scheme.

Where there is no possibility of bringing a property back into use through negotiation, some enforcement action may be necessary.

If it takes on a home, CBC will improve the insulation of the property and install low energy lighting and modern controllable heating and hot water systems; this all helps to future proof homes and make them more energy-efficient.

Councillor Eugene Ghent, the Executive Member for Housing and Assets, said, “Empty homes can negatively impact communities and can attract anti-social behaviour, vandalism and other criminal activity. They can also affect the value of nearby homes and make them more difficult to sell. We are committed to revitalising empty properties across Central Bedfordshire and turning them into safe, warm homes again. I’d encourage anyone who knows of an empty home to tell us so we can investigate its potential and try and work with the owner to bring it back to life. If you are the owner of an empty home, please get in touch as we may be able to support the refurbishment of the property.”