Award for cutting empty homes tally

Amber Valley Borough Council
Amber Valley Borough Council

Amber Valley Borough Council’s record for getting empty homes lived in again has been recognised by the National Empty Homes Network.

At the Network’s annual conference in Birmingham, the council, along with local housing association, Futures Homescape, was presented with an award for ‘Best Local Authority / Housing Association Partnership’.

It recognised the work they have put into returning empty homes to use. Since 2007 they have returned 75 empty homes to use, with a further 11 planned by March 2015. Last year 61 properties were returned back into use.

They have been strong in delivering the Homes and Communities Agency’s Empty Property element of the Affordable Rented Grant Programme andhave secured additional funding to tackle more properties in the borough. Over the years the partnership has attracted around £600,000 in Government grant funding into Amber Valley, to tackle the empty homes issue.

Leader of the council’s rulling Labour Group, Cllr Paul Jones: “We are delighted to receive this award which is recognition for our ongoing work with Futures Homescape and for what has already been achieved in returning empty homes back into use.

“t is particularly pleasing as the award was judged by a panel of empty property professionals with in-depth knowledge of this area of work.”

Futures Homescape’s head of housing, Paul Whittingham said: “We’re honoured to have won the award, a lot of hard work has gone into this project. I’d like to say a massive thank you to everybody at Amber Valley Borough Council for helping to make the idea a reality.

“It’s an incredibly innovative idea and helps to make new homes available at a time when the demand for affordable housing is critical what with increasing house and rent prices.”