574 homes across Peterborough classed as long-term empty.
Of which 10 homes have been sitting empty for ten years or more, research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.
The figures, uncovered through Freedom of Information requests, show that there are 574 homes across Peterborough that have been empty for six months or more. Of these, 137 had been empty for two years or more, 44 for five years or more, and 10 have stood empty for at least ten years.
Peterborough City Council has failed to make effective use of Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMO), powers used by local authorities to take over properties that have been empty for at least two years. This is despite the fact that some local families have spent Christmas without a home.
Nationally only 19 of the 247 councils in England and Wales that responded (the powers do not apply in Scotland) had used an EDMO in the past five years. Peterborough City Council have only applied for an average of 2 orders per year for the last 4 years. There are currently 2 applications still ongoing, but this is less than 15% of those that are eligible.
On 11th January 2017 Peterborough City Council published an Empty Homes Strategy for 2017-2019. In which it states “This comprehensively updated strategy will ensure that Peterborough remains at the forefront of empty homes work.”. However the number of empty homes has risen by over 30 homes and only 2 EDMOs have been applied for.
Christian Hogg, Lib Dem Campaigner for Fletton & Stanground said:
“At a time when the homelessness crisis is worsening and more and more people are sleeping out in the cold on our streets, it is a scandal that so many homes locally are sitting empty.”