Work to bring empty homes across County Durham back into use will be highlighted at a meeting next week.
A review by Durham County Council’s Economy and Enterprise Overview and Scrutiny Committee into work to address the problem and increase access to affordable housing will be presented to the authority’s Cabinet on Wednesday, 13th March.
The review highlights the need to make better use of private sector housing at a time when fewer houses are being built and the gap between wages and house prices is widening.
It looks at a number of schemes being delivered by the council in partnership with both Registered Social Landlords and private housing providers and notes the success in improving housing standards of schemes in the priority regeneration areas of Craghead, West Chilton and Easington Colliery.
The report also highlights the difficulty of having to step-up efforts to deal with empty homes while at the same time dealing with a reduction in resources.
Cllr John Moran, Chairman of the Economy and Enterprise Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said: “Access to a decent, affordable home is an essential part of everyday life that contributes to our health and wellbeing.
“While this report highlights some successes delivered with our housing partners in the public and private sector, it also makes important recommendations as to what more we could be doing.
“As well as supporting more empty homes renewal schemes, it highlights the need for us to work more closely with housing providers and explore alternative sources of funding.”