Torbay Council members will be considering the Empty Homes Policy and Action Plan at the next Cabinet meeting on 22 March 2022. 

The Empty Homes Policy will help to reduce the number of vacant homes in the Bay whilst maximising much needed housing stock for residents.

Homes become empty for several reasons; in most cases they are empty for a temporary, short-term situation such as awaiting sale, letting, or being renovated prior to occupation. However, some homes are empty for much longer. In October 2021, there were 892 dwellings in Torbay that had been empty for longer than 6 months. This figure represents 1.4% of Torbay’s total housing stock.

Whilst the policy recognises that some empty homes can be brought back into use through direction from the Council, it also acknowledges that there are many longer-term empty homes that require a more proactive intervention. Alongside the policy and the action plan, Cabinet approval is also being sought for the recruitment of a dedicated officer to lead on its delivery.

Cllr Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council said; "It is vitally important that as a Council we do all that we can to tackle the volume of empty properties in the Bay in order to help address the shortage of housing stock available for our residents. The Empty Homes Policy will seek to address this issue whilst complementing the Housing Strategy and Community and Corporate Plan in our efforts to improve the delivery, affordability and quality of housing, regenerate and re-invent our town centres, and encourage a sustainably developed built environment.”

Cllr Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of Torbay Council said; "Taking action to improve existing housing and increase housing stock demonstrates the Council can begin to address the shortage of local housing in Torbay, as well as removing nuisance properties, and doing our best to develop brownfield sites." 

“The proposed policy recognises the need for a joined-up approach across the Council to ensure long term empty properties are brought back into use, and that we work directly with the owners providing them with the tools and assistance where necessary, to achieve this.”

Read the Draft Empty Homes Policy, Action Plan and background papers being submitted to Cabinet on Tuesday 22 March 2022.


Aware of an empty property near you?

Residents can report an empty home on our website and we will investigate why the property is empty.




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