Residents and landlords with empty properties can access support and assistance from Wirral Council this week at a virtual event – with the first 30 people to book receiving a fully funded Energy Performance Certificate, subject to conditions.
Bringing empty homes back into use is a priority for Wirral Council and to mark National Empty Homes Week (Monday 15 to Sunday 21 February), the council is offering residents and landlords the chance to get free access to support and advice.
The Housing Standards Team will be available for virtual appointments (on Microsoft Teams or through phone calls) on Wednesday 17 February.
Appointments will give people the opportunity to speak directly to an officer, ask questions and find out how the council can assist them to bring their empty property back into use.
To book an appointment for Wednesday 17 February, please contact the Housing Standards Team on 0151 691 8132 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first 30 people to book an appointment in advance, then bring their property back into use from the support available and accept a homeless nomination, will receive a fully funded Energy Performance Certificate for the vacant premises (conditions apply). The Energy Performance Certificate is a legal requirement for owners wishing to tenant a property.
A homeless nomination involves the owner of the empty property agreeing to rent the property, once returned to use, to a resident or family identified to the council as being homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Cllr Julie McManus, Chair of the Housing Committee at Wirral Council, says: “By minimising the number of empty properties around the borough, the council and residents or landlords can help not only improve the area but provide suitable homes for other people – whether that be for young people wanting to get on the property ladder, providing affordable housing or opportunities for developers.
“Bringing a property back into use can only be a positive for owners and the surrounding community and this event to access support and advice, is a great way to start the process and talk to the council about what help you can get to return a property to use.”
Empty Homes Week is a national campaign organisedby Action on Empty Homes (the Empty Homes Agency) to raise awareness of the negative impact of empty properties on the surrounding area.
The Wirral Council Plan 2025 includes an aim of bringing long-term empty properties back into use to improve the quality of Wirral’s housing offer and meet the needs of residents.
Wirral has seen a significant reduction in the number of long-term empty properties in the borough year on year, from 2,982 in 2010 to 1,920 in 2019 – an overall a reduction of over 35% during this period – and it is hoped that the number of empty homes can reduce again, to help improve the area.
For more information about empty homes and how the council can help, please visit the council’s website.