Public Services > Local Government

74 councils opt for data-led empty housing review during 2016

Neil Merrett Published 14 March 2017

A total of 9,000 properties found to have been empty for over six months have been reclaimed for authority use in England last year as part of ongoing data platform campaign


An estimated 9,000 properties are claimed to have been removed from the list of empty homes available to 74 English local authorities over the course of 2016 through the use of a technology review solution.

Capacitygrid has claimed that its fully managed Empty Homes Review (EHR) platform has been able to make use of multiple data sources, systems and processes to better determine empty properties that have been left vacant for more than six months.

The system is intended to locate properties that can be bought back into council use, allowing local authorities to obtain New Homes Bonus payments and tackle citizen needs for social housing.

“The New Homes Bonus has been put in place by the government to support and encourage local authorities to not only build new homes but also bring long-term empty properties back into use,” said the company.

Work is now expected to commence this year by the company to look into building additional services and functionality in its platform for supporting local authorities as they face further funding pressures.

Under the current functions provided through the platform, which is available as a managed service, authorities do not provide upfront costs.  Instead, payments are based on results of the number of empty properties that are identified and removed from lists.

Authorities are also being given the option to conduct their own reviews of stock through a service cloud platform provided by Capacitygrid.

Over the last six years, the company claims that 156 English authorities have made use of the EHR function resulting in some 40,000 properties having been bought back into use.

With local authorities looking to technology and digital initiatives to help overhaul public service delivery, housing is among the areas identified by a number of suppliers as a potential focus for improvements.

Just last month, Leeds County Council announced it had entered a strategic partnership with Civica to implement an end-to-end, web-based solution to manage some 57,000 properties.

The announcement comes as the company late last year acquired social housing specialist software provider Abritas to strengthen its footprint in tenant services.

Related articles:

Socitm outlines usability concerns over council digital housing services

Civica picks up social housing specialist Abritas

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