Amy Forster, the Empty Homes Officer, was welcomed to the meeting.
A brief overview of the issues associated with empty homes was given, and Members noted that figures for quarter 3 of 2018/19 showed that 1,659 properties in the borough had been empty for over 6 months.
Members heard of the ways in which support could be provided in order to bring these back into use. These included providing advice including with probate, sales and lettings, and financial assistance through grants and loans. Other options included the Berneslai Homes purchase and repair scheme, or letting through a charity known as Humankind.
Should support be rejected, Members heard of the possibility of using statutory powers such as enforcing sales where buildings may be unsafe or in disrepair. It was noted that this could often be a long process, but often had a positive outcome.
Based on quarter 3 statistics, Members heard how there were 169 empty homes in the Penistone area. It was recognised that many of these would have complex issues associated with them, such as family disputes, which may not easily be resolved, however Members were encouraged to forward the details of any empty property to the Empty Homes Officer to make contact and offer support.
RESOLVED That the feedback be noted and thanks be given to the Empty Homes Officer for their attendance.