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Review of the Council's Empty Homes Policy

Meeting: 23/09/2021 - Housing Scrutiny Committee (Item 47)

47 Review of the Council's Empty Homes Policy pdf icon PDF 151 KB

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This item was chaired by Councillor Bird


Matter for Decision

The Empty Homes Policy is due for review every three years. The review of the Empty Homes Policy 2017 was delayed due to the Covid19 pandemic. The revised Policy reflects operational changes at Cambridge City Council, mainly the removal of the Empty Homes Loan and the inclusion of partnership working with Town Hall Lettings, the Council’s social lettings agency.


Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Approved and adopted the revised Empty Homes Policy 2021 attached as Appendix 1 to the officer’s report.


Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.


Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.


Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Empty Homes Officer.


The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Asked to see a table showing the number of empty properties and length of time empty. Also for a link to the Empty Home Officer’s list of empty properties to the Council tax list of empty properties.

  ii.  Said it would be interesting to see if there were clusters of empty properties.

  iii.  Asked how many properties were empty due to probate delays.

  iv.  Queried if more information could be included on the Council’s website to explain why properties may remain empty for some time.


The Empty Homes Officer said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  There were 2 long term empty properties, over 10 years on their list due to probate delays.  There was not a list of which properties were empty solely due to probate.

  ii.  Asked to be sent details of empty properties that the committee were aware of.


The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendation.


The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.


Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.