It is estimated there are nearly 16,000 vacant houses in Devon, as one council tries to tackle the problem.

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RESIDENTS in Torridge are being asked to help the council identify empty homes in the district in order to get them back into use as National Empty Homes Week starts today (Mon).

The move comes after the Empty Homes Agency estimates there are nearly 16,000 unused houses in Devon, many of which could be made habitable.

Councillor David Lausen, Torridge District Council’s lead member for housing, is urging the community to work together to tackle the problem.

He said: “Empty homes can detract from the local environment and may be a blight on the visual amenity of the area, a source of concern to communities and a potential risk to health and safety.

“Returning a home to occupation plays an important part in the regeneration of communities and the council is currently targeting empty homes within the District to get them back into use.

“Help us to improve your local area – if you own or know of any empty homes that could be brought back into circulation, please contact us.”

If you believe a property in your immediate vicinity is empty you can contact Torridge’s housing renewal team on 01237 428841, email housing.renewal@torridge.gov.uk.

You can also report empty homes anonymously at www.reportemptyhomes.com.

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