This national Empty Homes Week, (Monday 28 February – Sunday 6 March) Calderdale Council is highlighting the support available and the work that takes place to help bring empty properties back into use.
Long-term empty homes can cause nuisance to neighbours, potentially attracting anti-social behaviour and vandalism, as well as being a wasted resource in our communities. Bringing empty properties back into use, and converting vacant buildings into housing, increases the amount and range of housing available and complements new development.
The Council is working hard to reduce the number of empty homes. There’s a range of support available for owners, including advice on how to get renovation projects moving again and information on topics such as selling and renting, work that can be carried out on empty properties, community-led solutions and short-term finance options.
Priority work also takes place to prevent homes becoming empty in the first place and the Council works with owners to maintain tenancies and ownership and support vulnerable tenants. To discourage owners from keeping their property empty, there is also an additional Empty Homes Premium of 100% Council tax, rising to 200% if the property has been empty for more than five years.
Enforcement action to tackle long-term empty homes is always a last resort, but there are a number of ways in which the Council can deal with empty homes which are causing serious issues. These include repair and improvement notices to force owners to take action and even enforced sales or compulsory purchase orders.
To find out more about the support available to owners of empty properties, or to highlight a local issue with an empty home, visit