There are over one thousand privately-owned properties in North East Lincolnshire that have stood empty for more than six months according to North East Lincolnshire Council.
The updated figures have been released to mark National Empty Homes Week, highlight an issue which is not unique to the area.
In North East Lincolnshire, 1043 properties have stood empty for more than six months, and a further 712 have been empty for more than two years.
These figures are an improvement on the previous year’s, with 70 fewer homes standing empty for more than six months, and 88 fewer properties standing empty for more than two years.
Speaking at the site of a property on Burns Grove, Grimsby, which has stood empty for more than 20 years, Councillor John Fenty, portfolio holder for housing, highlighted that the issue is one across the UK.
Councillor Fenty said: “Unfortunately this is very much a national issue, and we’re working our regeneration partners ENGIE and colleagues in other organisations to ensure that as many of these properties as possible are freed up, brought back into use, and turned into much needed accommodation.
“It is encouraging that progress is being made regarding empty properties – and we are determined to do more to tackle this issue.
“This week, demolition works have started on a property that has stood empty for more than 2 decades. Our empty homes team have worked innovatively with the owner and key parties to enable this land to be unlocked for development.
“This property, and others around the borough, should not be stood empty when there is a demand for good quality housing.”
Mark Beeley, at Lincolnshire Housing Partnership, said: “This is an example of our strategy to provide much-needed new affordable housing and improve local neighbourhoods, making it a better place for people to live. It is great to see this project starting to progress.”
According to Council officials, empty homes can often end up becoming a root cause of problems in a community, attracting vandalism, fly-tipping and antisocial behaviour.
In some cases with empty properties, the council can use its powers to compulsory purchase properties and find ways to bring them back into use.