CHANGES in Thurrock Council’s housing department’s contracts in recent months is already making a major difference to the turn-around time of empty homes.
Speaking at a recent cabinet meeting, housing portfolio holder Cllr Val Morris-Cook said: “After the difficult time we had last year, clearing the huge backlog left by our contractors, we are now turning homes round in weeks rather than months.”
Twice in the last financial year homes were left empty for over 130 days – on average – but Cllr Morris-Cook said the latest figure of 45 days was well on the way to meeting the end-of-year target of 36.
And she added: “It’s worth mentioning that in the first five months of this year we have let 429 homes, almost double the number we were letting previously.
“This means families are moving out of high-rise blocks and people are transferring successfully from properties with damp and mould problems.
“This allows us to sort the homes out in our capital programme providing top quality homes for local people and, in addition, we are still housing people off our waiting list.”
She said: “While we expect the voids figure to go up and down month-by-month for a little while I am confident we will meet this target.”