Leeds City Council recently invested £100,000 in Leeds Empties. This social enterprise will now work alongside the Council over the next twelve months to develop and deliver a range of different ways to bring more long-term empty homes back into use in Leeds.
Leeds Empties has many plans – including looking at schemes elsewhere in the UK where the rehabilitation of ex-offenders with jobs refurbishing empty homes, and working out how to attract further investment into green refurbishment of empty properties, through schemes such as ECO (Energy Company Obligation).
This particular investment has been used initially to offer an Empty Homes Doctor service to owners of empty homes in the city, offering tailored, one-to-one support to help owners of empty properties to work out how to bring their home back into use.
It is hoped that the Council’s investment can act as a trigger for bringing other financial and “in-kind” contributions.
Councillor Peter Gruen, Labour’s executive board member responsible for neighbourhoods, planning and support services, said:
“Bringing empty homes back into use is a top priority for the council and something that we are making good progress in. This funding will allow Leeds Empties to accelerate the great work they have already started.
“Their Empty Homes Doctor service has already proven that it can provide quick-wins for property owners and help them resolve issues to bring their empty homes back into use, without the need for council intervention.”
Rob Greenland from Leeds Empties said:
“We’re looking forward to working more with the council’s empty homes team to bring more long-term empty homes back into use. Our Empty Homes Doctor will be offering one-to-one support to owners of empty homes who aren’t sure what to do next. We’ll also be working out how to get more investment into green refurbishment of empty properties, which will help lift more people in Leeds out of fuel poverty.
“Our work so far has made it clear to us that there are lots of people and organisations in Leeds who want to help to turn empty properties into homes. So we’ll be working hard over the next 12 months to continue to engage a wide range of people in bringing empty homes back into use.”
Leeds Empties will also use some of the investment to further develop their website which provides home owners with help, advice and offers from organisations to encourage the owners to address issues which are preventing them from bringing their properties back into use.
There’s an Empty Homes Doctor service to do just that on the website.
And tomorrow they’ll hold their first
‘Empty Homes Doctor Clinic’
Wednesday 24th July
These Clinics are planned for other areas of Leeds, especially where there are more empty homes.
Tomorrow’s is at Hillside in Beeston from 6pm until 9pm.
It’s a drop-in clinic – but people are also free to book in advance a 15 minute appointment with an Empty Homes Doctor.
For more information – and to sign up – you can visit the booking page.