Hundreds of houses and flats in Wigan are empty
Hundreds of houses and flats in Wigan are currently standing empty, official figures show.
The borough council reported no fewer than 870 vacant domestic addresses in 2019, according to data published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
But the figures do reveala big drop of more than 35 per cent in the number of vacant homes in the borough from the previous year, which stood at 1,342. It means Wigan is bucking the national trend which has seen a rise in the number of empty homes.
Wigan Council said a number of intiatives had helped it to reduce the number of properties standing idle.
These include “early and continual” engagement with landlords on how best to bring homes back into use, and increased council tax charges to those owning unoccupied premises.
Jo Willmott, assistant director provider management and market development, said: “There are a number of initiatives which have helped the council sustain an exemplary record on reducing the amount of empty homes in the borough.
“Early and continual engagement with landlords on how best to bring homes back into use is the at the heart of the approach.
“There are a number of incentives that can be implemented which include advice and guidance to landlords on bringing properties up to a high standard and therefore making homes more desirable to either private renters or buyers. We also offer direct leasing schemes that remove day to day management responsibility for landlords who perhaps don’t want to take it on.
“Where landlords are absent or uncooperative we can use levers such as increased council tax charges and CPOs.
“Finally, there is an increased offer to private rented tenants via a bond scheme, welfare and move in support which provides greater assurances to landlords to invest in their property for private rental.”