Empty homes are a major issue for the residents of Wyre near Blackpool, with more than 500 unoccupied properties now having been vacant for six months or more across the borough.
According to the latest estimates from Wyre Council, there are now 557 long-term empty homes in the area and this is therefore an issue that needs to be addressed, the Blackpool Gazette reports.
Pete Ryan, chairman of Thornton Action Group, has called on the council to take more forthright action over the problem, with one solution being to shift the focus from the construction of new properties to restoring these existing homes to a proper standard to attract tenants and buyers.
He told the news provider: “It depends on the standard of the home but empty homes staying empty, when they could be used to house single people or families, should not be wasted.
“Nobody likes to be living next to one for an extended period and when it’s empty for a long time it’s worrying.”
However, the issue many people are getting upset about is the lack of appropriate homes that are being built in the area that meet the needs of the public, with developers insisting on building larger family properties when there is already a glut of such homes that remain empty.
Indeed, Penny Martin, leader of Wyre Council’s Labour Group, noted developers want to build three or four-bedroom homes to maximise their profits, but this is not what the area needs at present.
“The anecdotal evidence we have heard is that people in Wyre are having to look further afield for accommodation,” she commented.
Anyone planning to leave their home empty for a considerable length of time – 30 days or more – should consider the benefits of taking out a comprehensive unoccupied homes insurance policy.
This includes financial protection against accidental or malicious damage to the home.