Amber Valley empty homes target set by council
New targets for bringing empty homes back into use have been set by a Derbyshire council.
Amber Valley Borough Council said the Crich, Alport and Wingfield areas all had more than 5% of homes completely empty or empty for most of the year.
The authority has now said it wants to have about 70 homes back in use each year.
Five properties had recently been brought back into use and allocated to families on the waiting list, it added.Financial problems
Government plans mean Amber Valley must find 1,800 affordable homes by 2016.
Councillor Norman Bull said: "It's amazing really, when you hear about 1,000 properties standing empty, 72 empty for more than 10 years.
"You just cannot get your head round it, why it should happen."
The council's empty homes officer, Sue Li, said some homeowners had taken on more than they could handle.
"Finance is a big issue. Some people have taken on a property not realising how much it will cost and the economic downturn has affected people's ability to pay for work.
"Some people are not making proper plans as to what to do with their properties as they get older."
The council admitted there was little extra government cash for empty homes but believed it could achieve its targets by working with landlords.