Emptyhomeswales.co.uk is launched
United Welsh has been actively engaging its partners to address the Empty Homes agenda in an attempt to rid our streets of some 26,000 estimated long term empties which blight communities across Wales.
Michala Rudman a dedicated Empty Homes Project Officer was employed in order to further this activity; including providing advice to homeowners, liaising with the Welsh Government on their loan scheme and working directly with Local Authority partners on enforcement. This partnership approach has been so successful it has led to the development and delivery of a Wales wide initiative called Empty Homes Wales http://www.emptyhomeswales.co.uk.
Driven by housing association United Welsh, EmptyHomesWales.co.uk is a site to bring together information, advice and advocates for bringing all our empties back into use. It is a place for owners to go to get information and help to tackle their empty property, find finance packages, discounts and offers; it also provides an anonymous easy way to report empty properties, and partners can link up in order to best tackle this ever increasing issue.
When compared with the 70,000 estimated families or individuals on social housing waiting lists in Wales these empties could assist 37% of those waiting to find a home; added to the current welfare reform fallout in Wales where it is clear as a country we do not have the houses available to help those in need these 26,000 properties could provide much needed new old family homes.
The Empty Homes Wales initiative has already been backed by Government Advisor and empty homes expert George Clarke who addressed the annual Welsh Housing Conference TAI in March; he visited one of the empty properties brought back by United Welsh for the Salvation Army – effective partnership working in action. Huw Lewis, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty also pledged his support signing up to ‘do what we can’ in order to tackle this issue. These pledges were just two of over 150 collected at TAI which shows the amount of support this topic has.
Michala Rudman, Empty Homes Project Officer said;
“Two heads are better than one and three better than two, and so by creating this unique partnership framework Empty Homes Wales, where all parties can join and assist with bringing these empties back into use in Wales, we stand a better chance of achieving all our goals; providing more family homes and tackling the 26,000 empties that sit on the streets of Wales. We hope that more will join our plight and pledge their support to do what they can.
“I also appeal to all those who showed their support at TAI signing our pledge to contact me to discuss what you or your organisation can do to combat empty homes with Empty Homes Wales. We can all work together – together we can achieve more.”
#EHW What can you do?