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Council bosses vow to take action to cut down on empty homes and fly-tipping

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Council bosses have pledged to clamp down on private landlords buying properties as part of its bid to provide affordable housing and improve the cleanliness of estates.

Speaking at the Hartlepool Borough Council’s South and Central Forum, Coun Kevin Cranney said providing quality affordable housing in Hartlepool was a priority in the area.

Issues had been raised by residents of people moving into areas and causing issues such as fly-tipping.

However the council has pledged to purchase properties that become available to buy and offer them at affordable prices to residents to improve the area.

Resident Evelyn Leck, speaking at the forum, was one of those who voiced complaints on the issues in her area.

She said: “There’s so many empty homes, it’s a shame.

“We’ve complained about the rubbish in streets, it’s a total disgrace.”

Coun Cranney, chair of regeneration services, said the council previously used to have to wait six months after a property became empty to purchase it, but can now act much quicker.

He said: “Affordable housing is one of the key issues we are looking at.

“What we find is one of our biggest problems is private landlords buying a property in a nice area and moving whoever in there.

“We’re trying to put a stop to that.

“Residents from nice areas have been complaining about people coming in to a house and turning it into rubbish.

“We used to have to wait six months to try and purchase the house after it becomes empty.

“Now if a house comes up for sale we can purchase it to stop that rot.

“We’re trying to do something about that, it’s a priority.”

Hartlepool council has a housing strategy place covering from 2015 to 2020 which focuses on providing new homes, making the best of empty properties, and bringing long-term empty sites back into use.