Owners of empty homes face massive tax hike as Council tackles housing issues

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Council Tax will quadruple on homes in Trafford that have remained vacant for more than 10 years.

The measure is a number of ways Trafford Council is tackling the issue of empty homes in the borough. Following consultation with residents and businesses, the Council has launched a five-year Empty Homes Strategy to bring back derelict and dilapidated homes back into use.

Cllr James Wright, Executive member for Housing and Regeneration, said:

Empty homes are a wasted resource when there is a shortage of housing across the country, especially in Trafford. These properties also blight our neighbourhoods and can be a focus for anti-social behaviour.

We are committed to bringing empty properties back into use as quickly as possible by working with owners of empty homes and our partners to take all available opportunities to help us tackle this issue.”

The latest figures, for 2018, show Trafford has 774 long term empty homes – the lowest number of long-term empty homes in Greater Manchester. However, the Council wants to reduce the number in order to improve neighbourhoods and increase the amount of housing stock in the borough.

From 1 April, Council Tax will double on properties that have been vacant for 2-5 years, treble for houses that have been empty for more than 5 years and – in 2021 – quadruple for houses that have lain empty for more than 10 years. Other measures to bring housing stock back into use include a loan for home owners to bring their property back up to standard, and a matchmaker scheme that matches vacant houses with prospective home owners.

Cllr Wright added:

We know that housing is such an important issue because so many people want to live in Trafford. We are using a mix of the carrot and stick to encourage owners to bring their homes back into use. That means more people can live in our borough and enjoy being part of our fantastic communities.”

Posted on Friday 10th January 2020