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Council to tackle empty properties in Liverpool

Date Published 26 June 2018

Liverpool City Council wants to purchase empty houses & land around Liverpool as large number of houses sitting vacant has risen again. Official figures reveal that the number of homes sitting vacant for 6 months or more has risen for the 3rd year in a row. Now more than 3,800 houses in the city are sitting empty.
Council officials say homes left vacant for long periods of time can cause problems for neighbours & areas. It can be hard to track down owners of properties meaning problems can linger while the council must pay repair costs that may never be recovered, bringing such properties back into use could provide much needed homes.
Mayor Joe Anderson & his cabinet are set to approve plans to make it easier for the council to make Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO's) ‘to acquire ownership of empty properties and vacant plots of land where these have been causing issues of blight or other problems in the neighbourhood'.
A report to be considered by the council's cabinet says, ‘there are a large number of empty properties & small vacant sites in Liverpool which cause various issues for neighbouring residents including amenity problems, littering & dilapidation'.
While long term vacant housing is increasing, homelessness is rising also & causing problems across the UK. Polly Neate, chef executive of charity Shelter said ‘it's a sad fact that homes are sitting empty while so many people & families are living without a roof over their heads. But, unfortunately, it's not as easy as just giving these homes to the people who need them most. The homes lying empty are often in different areas to where people are homeless & miles away from their communities & support networks, as well as being in places where it might be hard to get a job and start afresh. To truly help the hundreds & thousands of homeless people suffering in this country, the government needs to get on with building many more social homes'.