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Call for action over empty homes

9 June 09 07:33 GMT

Owners of uninhabited homes in the East Riding of Yorkshire have been urged to do them up for other people to use.

It is estimated up to 3,000 homes are standing empty in the county.

The council's Peter Jackson said having thousands of houses empty at a time when so many needed homes was "a national disgrace".

The council has been recommended to seek compulsory purchase orders (CPO) on two derelict properties in order to turn them into homes.

Mr Jackson, the Private Sector Housing Renewal Manager at the council, described the CPO's as an "absolute last resort" and said the council had been in informal negotiations about the state of the properties for "10 to 15 years".

He described the empty houses as "an environmental danger and a magnet for anti-social behaviour and vandalism".

Mr Jackson called the houses an "extreme case", saying "the vast majority of houses in this county aren't that bad, several thousand pounds could bring them back into use".

The council offers help and guidance to owners of empty homes and a small number of means-tested grants are available.

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