AN EYESORE property in Stratford has become a home again.
Stratford District Council took enforcement action against the owners of a long-term empty property in town last year.
Despite the council’s offer of a grant towards the cost of renovating the property, the owners had allowed the three bed semi-detached house to fall into a state of disrepair.
After the owners failed to bring it back into use within three years the council was granted an Empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO) allowing the authority to take it over to carry out renovation works and rent it out for up to seven years.
Neighbours were delighted to see the scruffy property – the address of which has not been disclosed – transformed into a family home.
And at the start of the year it became home to a family who had previously had to ‘sofa surf’ as they did not have anywhere to live.
The property is now managed on behalf of the council by Coventry Cyrenians who will offer on-going support to the family.
District housing spokesman Coun Jacqui Harris said: “It’s wonderful to see this property once again become a much-needed family home.
“We know there is still more work that needs to be done, and we will continue to work closely with landlords and owners to identify other properties where we can offer help, advice or financial assistance to provide these homes with a new lease of life.
“By exercising our powers we can work on properties which have been standing empty for many years and which have become a real blight on a community.
“As much as possible we try to do this with the consent of an owner, but an EDMO does give us the power, where needed, to take over management of a property to secure its future.
“Properties can be empty for many reasons, including delays preparing planning applications, problems with probate, the owner is in hospital, family breakdowns and disputes, mental or physical health issues of the owner, debt, or hope that house prices will go up.
“Making empty properties available for people in need of affordable housing forms an important part of our housing strategy.”