I read with interest Cllr Doyle’s claim that Worthing Borough Council was ‘behind the times’ in dealing with empty homes citing the performance of a neighbouring district in bringing homes back into use and would like to correct the inference made in the article.
The Enforced Sale Scheme that attracted Cllr Doyle’s attention is just the latest formal tool adopted by Worthing Borough Council to force the sale of a long-term empty property to recover debts and return it to use.
Worthing Borough Council has actually been in the forefront of this field for many years, introducing a budget for an empty properties toolkit, which funds grants and loans to help owners bring homes up to standard, as well as enforcement actions up to, and including demolition, which frees land for residential development.
The proven success of this approach for the past two years is what the neighbouring district has adopted and are now themselves benefiting from the same positive outcomes as a result. Indeed, we’re even sharing a resource to assist them in this area.
So, in fact, we are leading the way locally, rather than lagging behind others.
If your readers want to find out more about the excellent work we are doing in this area, including any assistance or advice on bringing an empty property back into use, they could visit the council’s website or contact the Private Sector Housing team direct.
Cllr Heather Mercer
Worthing Town Hall
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