Find out how we are aiming to reduce the number of empty homes in Torbay through a range of measures, including support and enforcement.
The purpose of this policy is to reduce the number of empty homes through a range of measures, including support and enforcement. It complements our Housing Strategy by supporting objectives such as meeting housing need, improving housing conditions and preventing homelessness.
More specifically, both the Local Plan and Housing Strategy went out for public consultation at the end of 2022, setting out different options for how Torbay can meet housing targets, whilst protecting the environment. Over a quarter of responses said that the Council should tackle empty homes before thinking of developing on green field sites. Additionally, from recent surveys circulated during Empty Homes Week (27 Feb to 5 Mar 2023) Torbay residents told us they wanted us to prioritise bringing empty homes back into use.
There is a housing crisis in Torbay, with many people struggling to afford a home while others live in temporary accommodation. There is a risk the crisis will impact generations to come. As of June 2023, Torbay has nearly 1,700 households, registered with Devon Home Choice, in need of a permanent home.
The policy also supports other corporate projects, such as the Community and Corporate Plan 2019-2023 to ‘improve the delivery, affordability and quality of housing’, ‘regenerate and re-invent our town centres’ and to ‘encourage a sustainably developed built environment.