Using compulsory purchase powers to bring vacant properties onto the local market is among the “drastic" measures” under consideration by the Government.
It was one of a number of actions listed in an ‘Action on Vacant Properties’ plan released by the Housing Minister, Deputy David Warr, yesterday.
New taxes, including an annual charge levied against vacant properties, have also been listed among the potential methods.
Deputy Warr said his department estimated the number of empty homes to be around 900 - 500 of which being second or holiday homes, 178 empty staff accommodation, 108 as "owner away long-term" and a further 125 were categorised as empty for "other reasons".
The action points, which aim to get the homes back into use, include creating a website before the end of January where islanders can report properties that have been empty for a long time or are in poor condition.
The report states that, of the future options being researched, "empty dwelling management orders" could be introduced to enable the government to take control of a property for a period of time to bring it back into use.
Compulsory purchase action is also being considered "where all other available options have been exhausted", and public interest in acquiring a property can be "proven".
Deputy Warr admitted that the latter method was "drastic" but said there was a "moral imperative" to address the issue of empty homes.
Action 1 – collection of anonymous vacancy data through parish rate declarations in 2023 and progressing a law change to enable this to be collected formally in the future
Action 2 - set up a community-led reporting mechanism for Islanders to report homes they believe are vacant or in a very poor condition which is harming the environment. This will be supported by the new Empty Homes Service to be established in January 2023
Action 3 - work in partnership with the Minister for Environment to more proactively manage land condition and make better use of existing homes in the Island
Action 4 – help His Majesty’s Receiver General to identify vacant and ownerless properties and bring them back into active use
Action 5 - support States-owned entities in the purchase and redevelopment of vacant properties, whilst encouraging the development of local skills and meeting wider Government objectives for construction innovation and carbon neutrality
Action 6 - establish an Empty Homes Service to provide advice to Islanders, monitor and analyse demand and policy development, and, make referrals to the Regulation Directorate and HM Receiver General
More detail in today's JEP... Click here to subscribe to the daily e-edition for as little as 39p per day...
Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.