Greens query homes policy

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Rugby Green Party has said Rugby Borough Council isn’t doing enough to fill privately-owned empty homes in the borough.

A Freedom of Information request made by the Greens found that there are 427 empty properties in the borough, and that 22 have been brought back into use in the past year.

Peter Reynolds, chair of Rugby Green Party, said: “At this snails pace it will take another 20 years for the council to get them reoccupied, meanwhile there are people in Rugby desperately looking for social housing and the homes that are there become an eyesore and sometimes used by squatters.”

Cllr Leigh Hunt, borough portfolio holder for sustainable inclusive communities, said: “We’re working with private house owners to address this issue, but there is no one-size fits all solution. We are using a variety of tools to tackle the problem of empty homes.

“We already charge extra council tax for longer-term empty properties and provide renovation loans, amongst other measures, but bringing empty homes back into use is just one of many different ways that we’re helping residents.”

She added: e“We are also building new council homes for example at Pettiver Crescent, and we’re arranging for housing associations and developers to build new housing that will be available for social rent.”