Salford is the third most successful council in the country when it comes to bringing empty homes back into use according to national figures.
The latest government statistics, published last month, show a national rise of more than 20 per cent – the fourth consecutive year that the number of homes which have stood empty for more than six months has increased nationally.
But in Salford 186 empty properties have been brought back into use, many for affordable housing, with only Kirklees in West Yorkshire and Greenwich in London beating that total.
In 2019 Salford had 1,238 homes standing empty out of the 122,682 homes in the city; this year that has fallen to 1,052. Only 14 other councils in the country have achieved a reduction.
Deputy City Mayor and lead member for housing Councillor Tracy Kelly said it was a fantastic achievement particularly given the extra challenges of the pandemic.
“Since 2012 Salford City Council has used a wide range of tactics and our strong partnerships with local housing associations to get empty property owners to tackle the problem and get these homes back into use,” she said.
“We’ve used both council and government funding to offer grants towards the work involved on condition the owners also invest and then rent them out through a local housing association.
“Local companies which renovate them, residents who need good quality homes, owners who are now guaranteed an income from their investment and the community which is rid of an eyesore all benefit.
“Where necessary the council can use its legal powers, such as serving improvement notices to make the properties habitable again and compulsorily purchasing properties to sell on condition they are refurbished and brought back into use.
“It’s part of our strategy to tackle the national housing shortage which also includes building new affordable homes.”