Almost 2,000 privately owned properties in Wolverhampton, that had stood empty for years, have been transformed into family homes thanks to the efforts of the city council.

The figures have been revealed during what is national Empty Homes Week, which runs from 15 to the 21 February, 2021. 
City of Wolverhampton Council’s Empty Property Strategy, launched in 2010, has seen more than 1,900 houses which had been left unoccupied – often in poor condition – brought back into use over the last 11 years. 
The council aims to ensure that rather than the properties becoming a blight on their neighbourhood, they are either sold to new homeowners or rented out to tenants. 
Specialist housing improvement officers from the council’s private sector housing team have worked with the owners of properties left empty for a long period of time to encourage and support them to carry out any required works and get them occupied once again. 
If necessary and as a last resort, the authority can use enforcement action to ensure this work takes place. 
The council also offers grants of up to £500 to encourage more owners of empty properties to act. 
The grants either help owners with legal/agent fees to sell their property or provide an incentive to rent it under the Private Sector Leasing (PSL) Scheme - a hassle free property management service run in association with Wolverhampton Homes. 
Councillor Jacqueline Sweetman, Cabinet Member for City Assets and Housing, said: “Our action on empty homes is providing more affordable housing to people in the City of Wolverhampton. 
“The properties we have become involved with have often stood empty for many years and, as a result, the condition of them has deteriorated dramatically. 
“Our strategy is helping to put these houses back on the market – either to sell or rent – and this in turn is having a positive effect in the areas they are in. 
“In addition, it means landlords are once again seeing rental income come in and the value of their properties increase, while local shops and services are benefiting from new residents occupying the houses – providing a significant boost to the local economy. 
“This ongoing work is the equivalent of us building hundreds of new houses across the city - and we will continue to focus our efforts on empty houses in the City of Wolverhampton.” 
The work to bring back into use empty properties in the city aligns with the City Housing Strategy’s 3 key objectives of more and better homes, safe and healthy homes and access to a secure home.  
The public can get further help and information on private sector housing issues by contacting the council on 01902 551155 or by visiting Housing.