Labour Councillors are claiming that the £2.4 million New Homes Bonus, allocated this year to the York Council, is the result of bringing long term empty properties back into use.
They claim to have “torn up” the previous Councils empty homes policy when they took office in 2011.
In reality the latest (publicly available) calculations on the Governments web site reveal that only 11 long term empty York homes were brought back into use between October 2011 and October 2012.
This is not surprising as there are very few, long term, empty residential properties in York.
Most of the Bonus was generated by the 352 additional homes built in the City. This again, by historical standards, is a relatively low figure.
Of these new homes, 152 were classified as “affordable”
The New Homes Bonus is a coalition government initiative which allows Local Authorities to retain, for a period of 6 years, part of the extra Council Tax generated when additional homes are built, commercial property converted into residential use or when long term empty homes are brought back into use.
Unlike other Authorities the York Council is not investing the New Homes Bonus in providing additional affordable homes in the City.