Bid to fill 'eyesore' homes

PUBLISHED: 10:08 27 June 2011

An Exmouth councillor is asking residents for their help to fill abandoned homes which have become an 'eyesore'.

Each year around 500 hundred properties in East Devon are left empty and have been for more than six months.

Now East Devon District Council’s housing department and their portfolio holder for communities, Jill Elson, are to start up a ‘matchmaking’ scheme to determine where these homes are, who owns them, and to put these owners in touch with people who are interested in buying and renovating them.

Councillor Jill Elson, said: “A dilapidated and run-down building is an eyesore and it is in everyone’s interest to restore it.

“This matchmaking service, which means the council can introduce a potential purchaser to a seller, is a very positive initiative.

“We not only hope to hear from anyone who lives near to, or knows of, these empty homes, but we also want to hear from anyone who is interested in buying one to live in, sell on or rent. I urge residents to get in touch with the Empty Homes Service as soon as possible.”

A district council spokesman added: “Properties may be left empty for a number of reasons.

“Family members have inherited them and don’t know what do; they become a shrine to an elderly relative or are forgotten about because the family doesn’t know whether to sell, live in, or rent them out, with the result that the property begins to deteriorate.”

He added that they were committed to bringing empty homes back into use and would offer advice, assistance and point out the options available and helping owners rent the property if they are unwilling to sell it.

East Devon District Council’s cabinet member for communities, Councillor Jill Elson, said: “A dilapidated and run-down building is an eyesore and it is in everyone’s interest to restore it.

“This matchmaking service, which means the Council can introduce a potential purchaser to a seller, is a very positive initiative.

“We not only hope to hear from anyone who lives near to, or knows of, these empty homes, but we also want to hear from anyone who is interested in buying one to live in, sell on or rent. I urge residents to get in touch with the Empty Homes Service as soon as possible.”

Enforcement action would only be used when absolutely necessary.

So if you know of a dilapidated and unkempt property near you, which has been like that for more than six months, please call: 01395 571572.

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