Over 200,000 homes in England lie empty, according to statistics from the Empty Homes Charity. Stockport Homes is supporting a national campaign to bring empty properties back into use, having worked with Stockport Council to return 27 empty homes back to use since 2011 to today.
Empty Homes Week runs from 28th November to 2nd December and aims to raise awareness of long-term empty homes, whilst working with others to test ideas for bringing empty homes back into use for those in housing need.
Properties identified as being empty by Stockport Council are then referred over to us at Stockport Homes, who look at housing need in that area to ensure the demand is there. Stockport Homes receive a contribution to costs for this from the Homes and Communities Agency.
An empty property was bought in 2013 that had remained empty since 2011. Following renovation, customer Zoe Hadfield moved into the property two months later. She said:
I was so happy to be offered this house, as I was previously living in temporary accommodation and had a baby on the way.The fact that I could get settled in before the baby arrived made such a difference. I really like the house, and the neighbours are lovely. It’s in a really convenient location for the nursery and primary schools which is great.
Robin Burman, Chair of Stockport Homes’ Board said: "By supporting the Empty Homes Week national campaign, Stockport Homes wants to bring empty homes back into use to provide housing options for our customers, just like Zoe, whom it has greatly helped."
Cllr Sheila Bailey, Executive Councillor for Communities & Housing, said: "There are many and varied reasons why private properties stand empty in Stockport, but each one is a potential home for someone who needs one. Both the Council and Stockport Homes are determined that as many as possible are brought back into use. The number of homes empty for more than 12 months is currently about 900, but the number is falling and many will eventually be brought back into use by their owners. However, where this doesn't happen Stockport Homes, in partnership with the Council, will step in whenever it is possible to do so".