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Council seizes seven empty properties

A picture of one of the empty properties that Birmingham City Council has seized
Published: Monday, 16th December 2019

Birmingham City Council has seized seven residential houses from their owners, after they have each stood vacant for more than 10 years.

On Thursday 12 December, the Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) were completed, meaning that the authority can exercise its enforcement powers to get the properties brought back in to use as family homes.

With the houses situated right across the city, the CPOs are the last tactic used by the authority, as part of its aim to bring back into use one empty home every day. The council’s private sector empty property team works closely with owners in Birmingham to educate, encourage and understand why the houses are lying empty and how to bring them back into use. Where this fails, as last resort, the council considers the use of CPO powers, as has been the case in this instance.

Julie Griffin, acting director for housing at Birmingham City Council said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to get control of these seven houses. In the middle of a national housing crisis and with families falling into homelessness, there shouldn’t be any empty properties in the city. These are much needed homes that have been left abandoned and neglected by the owners, which is completely unacceptable.

“Empty homes like these are a magnet for crimes that can range from fly-tipping to anti-social behaviour as well as devaluing other houses in their local communities. The neighbours of these homes have had to suffer the worry and anxiety that living adjacent to these eyesore properties has caused. It’s crucial that we continue to fight this campaign to bring homes back into use and we’ll do all we can to support residents who report properties to our empty homes team.”

The seven properties under CPO will now be sold leasehold at auction, with the requirement that new owners bring them back into use within twelve months. The properties are in Handsworth, Selly Oak, Acocks Green, Kings Heath, Kitts Green, Bromford and Sutton Coldfield.

If there is an empty home causing a nuisance in your local area, report it to the empty properties team on 0121 303 7978, emptyproperty@birmingham.gov.uk or on Twitter @bccemptyhomes