Two Dorset councils in empty homes push

Posted on 09 December 2011 by West Dorset District Council

West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council are to apply for a share of £100 million of Government funding.

A series of programmes currently running on national TV has highlighted the “scandal” of properties across the country standing empty while people live in homes which don’t meet their needs.

The district and borough council are urging local people to sign a petition calling for action to help fill up Britain’s empty homes.

They would also like residents to tell them about empty homes in their neighbourhood so that the owners can be approached with help and advice about potential funding to help bring them back into use.

On 1 October 2011 the number of empty properties in the area was:

  • West Dorset – 540 (out of around 47,000 properties)
  • Weymouth & Portland – 408 (out of around 36,000 properties)

The number of people on the two councils’ housing registers is:

  • West Dorset – 2,834, of which 958 were classified as in housing need, for example have a medical need to move or who are overcrowded
  • Weymouth & Portland – 4,896, of which 1,374 are classified as in housing need

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council Housing Briefholder Amanda Legg said: “There are many reasons why people leave a property empty.  Most owners tell us that they lack the funds to bring them up to a decent standard or don’t have the skills to manage the process of offering the property for rent.

“We need to use our limited powers in this area and secure our share of the new funding made available by the Homes and Communities Agency.  We can then work with those who hold the keys to unlocking these empty properties.”

West Dorset District Council Leader Robert Gould said: “An empty property is not just a wasted asset for the owner.  It is a missed opportunity to give someone in the local community a home.

“And although we have successfully increased the number of new affordable homes built in West Dorset in recent years, empty properties place additional pressure on this stock.

“We have run empty homes campaigns with some success in the past.  But this national TV series highlighting the situation and the release of new Government funding to help tackle the issue is very welcome indeed.  The time is right for a fresh push.”

To report an empty property in West Dorset please call the district council on 01305 251010.  To report an empty property in Weymouth & Portland please call 01305 838000.

To sign the online petition calling for action on this issue go to www.channel4.com/programmes/the-great-british-property-scandal/articles/home/

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For more information, please contact:

Link to West Dorset District Council contact information
West Dorset District Council
South Walks House
South Walks Road
Dorchester
Dorset
DT1 1UZ
Or email us:
custservices@ westdorset-dc.gov.uk

Or call us:
01305 251010

Or fax us:
01305 251481
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council
Council Offices
North Quay
Weymouth
Dorset
DT4 8TA
Or email us:
customercare@weymouth.gov.uk

Or call us:
(01305) 838000
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