COUNCIL chief across the Malvern Hills have launched a bid to bring empty homes across south Worcestershire back into use to help tackle the chronic housing shortage across the district.
Malvern Hills District Council and neighbouring Wychavon District Council have joined forces to raise awareness of empty homes and the support on offer to help owners to bring them back into use.
Owners of empty homes are being sought to take advantage of free advice and information on options, financial assistance of up to £15,000 to bring derelict homes back to life and free advertising on lettings sites managed by the councils.
Council chiefs have also revealed financial support to property owners could be available to help sell the property.
It is estimated there are 1,277 empty homes in both districts and there are 3,926 people on the housing waiting list. While bringing empty homes back into use alone will not tackle the housing shortage, it will all help.
Elaine Salter, housing services manager for both councils said: “We have a shortage of homes in both districts and we know many homes lie empty without an occupier.
“The reasons for this are often complicated and at times emotional, especially when previous occupants have passed away.
“We are here to offer support and help to owners to enable them to bring these empty homes back into use.
“Not only are empty properties needed as homes, but many get into a state of disrepair when they are empty which also has a negative impact on the communities where they are situated.
“This can be both as a negative visually and in terms of making people feel unsafe.”
The efforts come ahead of National Empty Homes Week which begins on Monday and aims to raise awareness of the problem in a bid to bring about changes.
Anyone who has an empty property and is looking for support can call 01386 565610 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more.