ALMOST 200 empty homes across Tendring have been brought back into use in the past year.

Town hall bosses have used a range of measures to cut the number of properties that have been vacant for six months or longer.

There were 885 homes listed as being long-term empty in March this year, but the number has now been reduced by 197.

Tendring Council said it has been helping owners to address the situation.

Paul Honeywood, interim leader and cabinet member for housing, said: “This is an excellent result and is shows that our policies in this area are paying off handsomely.

“However, we will not be resting on our laurels and work will continue to reduce this number even further.”

Officers have been contacting owners of empty properties to find out why they are empty and encouraging them to bring them back into use.