Empty Homes Week 2017
National Empty Homes Week 2017 runs from the 16th to 22nd October. Every year local authorities, housing providers, community-led organisations and others see Empty Homes Week as an opportunity to organise events and put out information so that people know about their work to tackle empty homes. Empty Homes Week is also the chance to celebrate successes and reflect on what more needs to be done to bring empty properties back into use to help meet housing needs. If you want to find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org
Round up of news and events for Empty Homes Week 2017
ORGANISATIONS TAKING ACTION IN EMPTY HOMES WEEK 2017
Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale Borough Council is encouraging people to apply for a grant as part of National Empty Homes Week. Up to £10,000 is available for owners of homes that have been empty for more than 12 months. The grant covers up to 75% of the price of the works and homeowners are expected to contribute towards the remaining costs. Eligible works can include: energy efficiency and renewable energy measures to reduce fuel poverty and carbon emissions; works to bring the property up to the Decent Homes Standard; fire safety measures; and home security measures. Applicants will be expected to fund 25% of the works.
If you want to find out more information on eligibility for Empty Homes Grants in Allerdale, or apply for a grant, please contact the Housing Services team on 0303 123 1702 or email: email@example.com.
For more information see: http://www.allerdale.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=3726
Barnsley Council is supporting Empty Homes Week 2017 to encourage people to get in touch if they know of an empty property that is causing a problem in their local neighbourhood or if they are an owner of an empty property. The Council is promoting the services of its dedicated empty homes team who can offer free advice and support to empty homeowners, covering legal issues: including probate; accessing grants and interest-free loans to bring a property back into use; advice on being a landlord and information on the council purchasing the property at market value. The Council is also stressing that “it has statutory powers to deal with properties in poor condition but are keen to work with owners to help re-let, re-occupy or sell. If offers of voluntary help fail a range of enforcement action may be used to ensure the property is brought back into use”.
If you want find out what help is available or to report an empty property in Barnsley visit: barnsley.gov.uk/emptyhomes
For more information see: https://www.barnsley.gov.uk/news/barnsley-council-tackles-empty-properties/
Blaby District Council
During Empty Homes Week, residents of Blaby District are being encouraged to report empty homes in their area. The council are highlighting how it tries to work with the owners of properties to bring them back into use, but will take enforcement action if it needs too.
If you are a resident in Blaby concerned about an empty home, or an owner who would like help please visit: www.blaby.gov.uk/emptyhomes or call 0116 275 0555 for more information.
For more information see: http://www.blaby.gov.uk/news-and-events/latest-news/empty-homes-week-2017/
Bolsover District Council
In recognition of National Empty Homes Week, Bolsover District Council will be providing a daily update on how it is tackling the issue of empty properties across the District. This will include advice and information for property owners on letting or selling property.
For more information see: http://www.bolsover.gov.uk/index.php/35-resident/housing/127-resident-empty-properties
During Empty Homes Week, Bolton Council is encouraging more landlords and property owners to use their services to help bring empty homes back into use. This includes interest free loans of up to £20,000 to bring a long-term empty property up to a suitable standard for rental. The Council also has an online Matchmaker Scheme which matches empty home owners with potential buyers and offers advice about how to rent out properties through the Bolton Landlord Accreditation Scheme. Empty property owners are invited to a free drop-in advice session at Castle Hill Centre, Castleton Street, BL2 2JW on Thursday, October 19 between 2pm and 4pm.
The Council also recently unveiled it has joined forces with Bolton College and the University of Bolton on a pilot project to bring a rundown empty house back into use. The house has been empty since 1993 and the authority is currently in negotiations to buy the property and both institutions are identifying students to take part in the refurbishment. The council is also highlighting how it always tries to work with landlords first, but if they will not take action, the council will use enforcement powers.
If you are a landlord or property owner in Bolton who wants to find out more about the help available you can contact the Empty Homes Team on 01204 338912 or e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information see: http://www.bolton.gov.uk/website/news/pages/hundredsofemptyhomesbackinuse.aspx
Brent – London Borough
In the London Borough of Brent, Empty Homes Week 2017 marks the launch of the Empty Property Team’s “From Office to Home” project to turn empty commercial properties into much-needed homes. The scheme encourages owners of long-term empty commercial buildings to convert them into residential flats. There are grants available from Brent for such conversions.
If you want to know more you can contact the Empty Property Team in the London Borough of Brent to ask for more information on 020 8937 2535/2539 or email: email@example.com.
Cambridge City Council
Cambridge City Council is asking residents to help it bring empty properties back into use during Empty Homes Week. It sees this as an important part of its housing strategy. The City is also using the week to publicise the support available to empty property owners, including interest free loans via its Empty Homes Loan Scheme. In return for the loan, the council asks for the homes to be rented through its Town Hall Lettings scheme for a minimum of two years. This option is also open to other owners of empty properties. This scheme provides owners with a regular income and delivers affordable rented housing for people in housing need.
If you are the owner of an empty property, and would like to discuss how the council can help bring it back into residential use, call 01223 457622 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Camden Council – London Borough
Camden Council is highlighting the work of the council to help bring empty properties back into use. A press release states that over the last five years, Camden has helped bring 447 properties back into use, including 27 between January and August this year. The release also features a case study where Camden offered financial assistance to help bring a home up to liveable standard and the owner agreed to let Camden house local families in housing need in that property for 3 years. It also features the partnership between Camden and Mace Housing Co-op which resulted in an owner leasing empty properties to Mace for ten years with Camden being able to nominate households in housing need over that period. As well as working with property owners, Camden has used enforcement powers to bring long-term abandoned properties back into use. In June, the council started the process of a compulsory purchase order to take ownership of a home that had been empty for 21 years.
If you own an empty home in Camden and would like advice, or you would like to report a home you believe is empty in Camden, please visit: camden.gov.uk/emptyhomes
For more information see: http://news.camden.gov.uk/empty-homes-week-2017/
Cannock Chase District Council
Cannock Chase Council is reminding owners, during Empty Homes Week, that an empty property loan is available for properties in the Cannock Chase District. The Council has developed an interest free loans scheme to assist owners whose properties have been empty for two years or more. Owners may be eligible for a loan of up to £10,000 to renovate their property to the Decent Homes Standard. The Council’s Housing Option’s Service can also provide specialist help and advice which is aimed at supporting landlords who manage their own properties.
If you want to find out more information about the loans scheme please telephone 01543 464309. If you want to find out more about the advice and assistance available from the Housing Options Team please ring 01543 462621 or email email@example.com.
Charnwood Borough Council
Charnwood Borough Council is encouraging residents to report empty homes and is promoting the availability of grants which can help owners refurbish their property and get it back into use.
If you want to find out more about the advice and assistance available locally please see: www.charnwood.gov.uk/empty_homes
Cherwell District Council and South Northamptonshire Council
Cherwell District Council and South Northamptonshire Council are running a social media campaign on Facebook & Twitter during Empty Homes Week.
Cheshire West and Chester Council
To mark Empty Homes Week, Cheshire West and Chester Council is reminding residents about its aim to bring back into use 900 long-term empty homes by 2020. A press release also promotes the Empty Home Surgeries that the Council runs on the first Tuesday of each month. There owners can speak with Council staff and find out about the range of measures available to help bring their empty home back into use. There are a range of grants available to help empty home owners and a grant is also available to landlords and/or property developers providing financial assistance towards refurbishment costs for recently purchased empty homes.
If you want to find out more about the advice and assistance available locally, please see: firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0300 123 7038.
For more information see: http://www.yourwestcheshire.co.uk/NewsArticle/%7B9179E880-33E4-446E-8A43-684C7BB1EDB2%7D
For more information see: http://www.yourwestcheshire.co.uk/NewsArticle/%7B9179E880-33E4-446E-8A43-684C7BB1EDB2%7D
Copeland Borough Council
Copeland Borough Council is using Empty Homes Week to advise that during 2017 it developed a stronger approach to tackling empty homes. The Borough Council produced an Empty Homes Guide for councillors earlier in the year to enable them to help spread the word in their communities about options available to empty home owners and to encourage them to get in contact with the Borough Council to find out more.
For more information see: http://www.copeland.gov.uk/attachments/empty-homes-newsletter
Corby Borough Council
As part of national Empty Homes Week, Corby Borough Council has issued a press release reflecting on “successfully returning over 250 long term empty homes in our Borough as figures of such properties falls below 50 for the very first time in well over a decade”. The press release notes that “it was just 5 years ago that Corby had in excess of 300 long term empty homes but with an active strategy, councillor support and a dedicated Empty Homes Officer employed, impressive results and outcomes have been achieved. These results have not just increased affordable housing numbers in Corby but have also had a positive impact on communities. By refurbishing and repairing empty homes it also improves the look and feel of neighbourhoods as a derelict property can attract problems, such as fly tipping, vandalism and arson.“
If you know of an empty home, or wish to discuss one, please contact Corby Borough Council’s Empty Homes Officer Paul Palmer on 01536 464175 or email: email@example.com.
For more information see: https://www.corby.gov.uk/corby-celebrates-low-empty-homes-figures-part-national-empty-homes-week
Cornwall Council is using Empty Homes Week to publicise the advice and assistance available from the council to bring empty homes back into use. This includes a loan scheme. Cornwall is also encouraging empty property owners to get in contact and publicising how it is prepared to take legal action to tackle the issue of empty properties in some cases.
If you would like to find out more you can contact Cornwall’s Empty Homes Team by phoning 01726 223600 or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information see: http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/council-news-room/media-releases/news-from-2017/news-from-october-2017/cornwall-council-scheme-lends-more-than-2-million-to-bring-empty-properties-back-into-use/
Cumbrian Local authorities: Allerdale, Barrow, Carlisle, Copeland, Eden and South Lakeland District Councils
Cumbrian local authorities have come together for Empty Homes Week to produce a joint newsletter to promote the advice and assistance available to being empty homes back into use across the county.
Epping Forest District Council
Epping Forest District Council is using Empty Homes Week to encourage residents to report empty homes to it. The District Council is also promoting the financial assistance that is available to empty property owners. This includes the Empty Homes Repayable Assistance which offers up to £10,000 for people looking to move into an empty property that is in poor condition – the money is repayable when the property is sold. It also includes a PLACE Loan that offers up to £25,000 for renovating empty properties in order to sell or rent it out. This is an interest free loan that must be paid back within two years in the case of a loan to sell, or five years in the case of the loan to let. The District Council is also reminding people “we always prefer to work with owners in a constructive way. We have certain enforcement powers that we may use to ensure an empty property is brought back to use, particularly if it has been empty a long time and is problematic to the local community”.
If you wish to report an empty in Epping Forest please email: email@example.com or ring 01992 564706.
For more information see: http://www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/news/?m=201710
Epsom and Ewell Borough Council
Epsom and Ewell Borough Council are using Empty Homes Week to publicise a new private sector leasing scheme.
If you want to know more about the scheme please see: http://insight.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/issue-42-september-2017/this-issue/in-this-issue
Hastings Borough Council
Ahead of Empty Homes Week, Hastings Borough Council issued a press release stressing how it was looking to reduce homelessness in the town by bringing empty properties back into use. Councillor Andy Batsford is quoted as saying: “We know from experience that many owners need to be encouraged to bring their empty homes back into use. If appropriate, the council has the power to be enforce owners to make their properties available for sale or rent”. The release also features how the Borough Council has worked with YMCA Downslink to lease empty homes for providing homes to young adults and families and worked with Optivo Housing Association to purchase and repair empty homes for social housing. Hastings Borough Council also works with Parity Trust (a not for profit bank) to provide interest relief on loans to home owners for bringing privately owned empty homes back into use. The Council also stressed that as a last resort it would if necessary seek compulsory purchase orders citing how it had taken possession of six empty homes.
For more information see: https://www.hastings.gov.uk/press_media/latestcouncilnews/pr_20170925/
Horsham District Council
Horsham District Council is using Empty Homes Week to promote its Empty Property Grant Funding Scheme. It is featuring how a family in housing need are about to move into a new home where the landlord applied for the grant to renovate a two bedroom property which had been left empty for many months. Horsham is also stressing that where necessary it will take enforcement action - over the last six years the council has forced the sale of a number of houses which have been left empty for prolonged periods of time.
If you are interested in letting an empty property through Horsham District Council, please call 01403 215449 for more information. For more details on the council’s private landlord services please go to:
Kent County Council
No Use Empty, Kent County Council’s initiative to return empty homes to use, has produced a video featuring a £3 million project to deliver new homes on the site of the former pub in Herne Bay. The property had been empty for five years following a fire. The conversion of the pub was undertaken in partnership with a local developer who bought the former pub and applied for a loan from the No Use Empty Loan fund to unlock the redevelopment. No Use Empty provided £175,000 – the maximum amount available through the scheme – which enabled him to embark on the £3 million project to deliver 14 apartments.
No Use Empty was launched in 2005 and is delivered by Kent County Council, in partnership with all twelve borough and ward councils. Loans of up to £175,000 are available through the scheme (£25,000 per unit created), which is repayable in five years, and recycled back into the scheme. To date, No Use Empty has administered loans totalling £18.9 million, which has unlocked investment from owners totalling £23.9 million. No Use Empty has returned over 5,000 homes to use since 2005.
For more information see: https://www.no-use-empty.org.uk/category/videos/nue-video/
Lichfield District Council is using Empty Homes Week to highlight its work to tackle empty homes. Lichfield’s housing team has started liaising with and surveying the owners of the properties that have been empty for the longest time, with a view to getting them brought back into use. The local authority is also urging anyone who is struggling with an empty property, or anyone who is concerned about an empty property, in their area, to get in touch for advice.
If you are concerned about an empty property, please contact Lichfield District Council on 01543 308000 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Malvern Hills District Council
Malvern Hills District Council is using Empty Homes Week to promote how it can help owners of empty properties from providing grants to advice on finding tenants.
For more information see: https://www.malvernhills.gov.uk/empty-properties
Mid Devon District Council
Mid Devon District Council is using the week to raise awareness of the support they offer to empty property owners to help ensure that homes are brought back into use. In partnership with not-for-profit lender Wessex Resolutions CIC, the Council provides subsidised loans for home repairs to enable owners to either rent their newly renovated property, or put it on the market, or move back into it themselves.
For more information see: https://www.middevonnewscentre.info/council-support-for-empty-home-owners/
North East Derbyshire District Council in partnership with Action Housing
North East Derbyshire District Council is holding an event for owners of empty properties on 17th October. The event is an opportunity for owners of properties to get help and advice to bring their empty property back into use. The event has been organised in partnership with Action Housing who are a social Landlord. Action are keen to promote their ‘Sustainable Tenancy Project’ which aims to provide supported accommodation for young people with support needs. Action need accommodation in North East Derbyshire and therefore want to speak to owners of empty properties in the area. At the event, there will also be egislation updates for landlords.
If you would like further information about the advice and assistance available in North East Derbyshire about empty homes, please contact Thomas Evans on 01246 231111. Or see: http://www.ne-derbyshire.gov.uk/index.php/35-resident/housing/127-resident-empty-properties
North East Lincolnshire Council
North East Lincolnshire Council is warning owners that they will have to pay an extra 50 per cent on their council tax bills if they are left empty for more than two years. Working, in partnership with ENGIE, it has sent letters to property owners at risk of having to pay the extra charge. North East Lincolnshire Council is also warning that “in the worst cases, the Council can use its powers to compulsory purchase properties and find ways to bring them back into use”.
If you want to report an empty property in North East Lincolnshire you can do so online at www.nelincs.gov.uk - search ‘Empty Homes Notification form’.
If you own an empty home in North East Lincolnshire and would like advice, or you want to find out more about empty properties for sale in the area call (01472) 324727 or email email@example.com.
For more information see: https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/can-make-empty-house-home-empty-homes-week-2017/
Northumberland Country Council
Northumberland County Council is using the week to show case how work has started on empty properties across in its area and how it has used Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMOs) to repair four homes across the county, to bring them back into use. The properties are a mixture of two and three bedroom homes. The council also says it will purchase five empty properties to refurbish and that in 2016/2017 it was instrumental in bringing 178 empty homes back into use.
If you have a property near you which has been empty for a long-time contact the private sector housing team on 01670 622299 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information see: http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/News/2017/Oct/WORK-STARTS-ON-EMPTY-HOMES.aspx
Oxford City Council
Oxford City Council is calling on landlords to help bring more empty homes back into use, given the high levels of housing needs in the city. A press release notes that “in 2015, there were 365 homes in Oxford that had been empty for six months or longer. This reduced to 303 by March 2017 with less than 70 of these empty for more than two years. Last year, 22 homes were brought back into use directly as a result of City Council intervention”. Oxford is currently pursuing a compulsory purchase order for one long-term empty house. In addition, Oxford is signalling its intent to apply for empty dwelling management orders (EDMOs) on more empty properties.
If you would like to report any empty home in Oxford please visit: report an empty private sector property to Oxford City Council
Plymouth City Council
Plymouth City Council is using Empty Homes Week to urge owners of empty homes in Plymouth to take advantage of a new scheme that provides financial assistance. The City Council has committed £1 million to its Empty Homes Fund to help bring properties back into use. Under the empty homes financial assistance package, all eligible applicants will be offered an interest free loan of up to £50,000 per dwelling. As part of the work to encourage empty home owners to get in touch, a seminar is being held at Ballard House on Thursday 19 October at 6.30pm with Helen Williams, chief executive of the national Empty Homes charity, and Thelma Cunningham, the Council’s lead on Empty Homes.
If you’re an empty home owner, or a developer thinking of buying an empty property in Plymouth, you can sign up for the event here: https://emptyhomesinfoevening.eventbrite.co.uk or for more information or to download an application pack, visit: www.plymouth.gov.uk/emptyhomes
For more information see: http://plymouthnewsroom.co.uk/empty-home-plymouth-get-50000-help-bring-back-use
Redbridge London Borough
The London Borough of Redbridge is using Empty Homes Week to urge owners to take advantage of the grants and advice on offer to help bring their empty properties back into use. Properties that have been empty for more than 12 months are eligible for a grant which covers up to 50 per cent of the cost of the renovation work required, with a maximum limit of £30,000 dependent on the number of bedrooms in the property. In addition, Redbridge supports owners with finding tenants. The Council’s Private Sector Housing team will be at the Town Hall on 17 October for the Landlord forum to provide information about the Empty Property Grant and offer advice.
Redbridge is also stressing that while its first aim is to work with owners, where they are unwilling to bring a property into use, the Council may take action to get the property renovated and re-occupied. Neighbours are also being encouraged to help identify empty or abandoned properties.
If you want to report an empty home in Redbridge you can email email@example.com or phone: 020 8708 5361.
For more information see: https://www.redbridge.gov.uk/news/october/bring-your-empty-home-back-to-life/
St Helens Council
St Helen’s Council is marking Empty Homes Week, by reminding residents and empty home owners of the help and support on offer to ensure they make the most of their property. St Helens Council intervention prioritises homes which have been left empty for over 12 months. The council is advising that it always tries to negotiate with owners, offering advice and assistance, but that a formal intervention may be required where owners refuse to meet their responsibilities. This can range from serving statutory notices to deal with immediate issues such as rubbish and dangerous structures, to the use of compulsory purchase and enforced sale.
If you are an owner of a vacant property in St Helen’s you can contact the Empty Homes Team on 01744 676246 or email the council at firstname.lastname@example.org or for other information on its empty homes work go to: www.sthelens.gov.uk/housing/empty-properties
For more information see: https://www.sthelens.gov.uk/news/2017/october/10/council-backs-empty-homes-week/
Sevenoaks District Council
Sevenoaks District Council is inviting residents who own empty homes to attend a free drop-in event to help bring their property back into use in support of Empty Homes Week. The free event takes place from 1.30pm to 4pm on Wednesday 18 October at Sevenoaks District Council’s offices in Sevenoaks. No booking is necessary, residents can just turn up for advice. Sevenoaks District Council’s Empty Homes Officer and an expert from Kent County Council’s ‘No Use Empty’ scheme will be on hand to give free advice. Support available includes interest free loans worth up to £25,000 and how to best market an empty home for those considering selling.
For more information see: https://www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/news/article/27/free_advice_for_empty_home_owners
South Lakeland District Council
South Lakeland District Council is using Empty Homes Week to promote the Empty Homes Grant Management Scheme that it offers in some parts of the district in partnership with South Lakes Housing (SLH). Grants can be given up to a maximum of £20,000. The repairs works and tenancies are then managed by SLH. The District council is also promoting the other advice and support available locally to ensure empty homes are brought back into use.
Swanley Town Council is inviting residents to attend a free drop-in event to help bring their property back into use during Empty Homes Week. The free event takes place from 1.30pm to 4pm on Wednesday 18 October at Sevenoaks District Council’s offices in Sevenoaks. No booking is necessary, residents can just turn up for advice. Sevenoaks District Council’s Empty Homes Officer and an expert from Kent County Council’s ‘No Use Empty’ scheme will be on hand to give free advice. The support available includes interest-free loans worth up to £25,000 and how to best market an empty home for those considering selling.
For more information see: http://swanleytowncouncil.gov.uk/free-advice-empty-home-owners/
Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council
Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council is using Empty Homes Week to encourage property owners to make unused empty homes available for rent to people in housing need across the borough. It is promoting the advice its gives on property renovation, energy efficiency, letting and managing a property as well as explaining the minimum housing standards required for letting a property.
If you would like more information on how Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council can help you bring an empty home back into use, please email: email@example.com or call 01732 876395.
For more information see: https://www.tmbc.gov.uk/news/archive-2017/national-empty-homes-week-bringing-empty-homes-back-into-use
West Lindsey District Council
As part of Empty Homes Week, West Lindsey District Council is urging landlords to seek help to bring empty properties back into use. The services available include, a ‘tenant finding service’ and a property matching scheme for those interested in investing or selling in the area.
If you are a landlord with an empty property, you can visit the Guildhall and speak to the dedicated empty homes specialist and find out how the council can help you. Residents or neighbours who have any concerns about an empty property can find out more about reporting it at: https://www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/my-services/housing-and-home-choices/empty-homes/
For more information see:
West Suffolk- Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council working together
West Suffolk councils are using Empty Homes Week to urge owners of long-term empty homes to work with the Councils to help meet some of the local demand for housing. The Councils are promoting the West Suffolk Lettings Partnership that offers a guaranteed rental scheme and the availability of Empty Homes Grant of up to £20,000 for essential works if the costs of repairing the property is a barrier and where a property has been empty for over a year. They mention that the grants could be ideal for a first-time buyer taking on a fixer upper. The Councils are also stressing that they have powers to take over the management of empty properties.
If you would like more information about the Empty Homes Grant in West Suffolk, please visit: https://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/housing/empty_houses/emptyhomesgrant.cfm or you can call 01638 719733 or 01284 757053 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like more information on the West Suffolk Lettings Partnership guaranteed rent scheme, visit: https://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/housing/privatehousing/wslp.cfm
For more information see: https://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/news/171016-ws01.cfm#content
Wirral Council is holding a drop-in session for owners of empty properties at Wallasey Town Hall on Thursday, October 19th 2017, to help owners of empty properties find out what help is available. The public is also encouraged to come along to flag-up any empty properties that are causing them concern. The drop-in will be from 10am-3pm and no appointment is necessary.
As part of Empty Homes Week, Wirral Council has also produced a flyer and is encouraging owners of empty properties to get in touch and find out how it can help them improve, let or sell their property. Wirral also want to hear from those residents who may be affected by an empty property in their neighbourhood. The flyer highlights that Wirral Council uses a range of resources and legal powers to tackle empty residential properties in the borough with the intention to improve neighbourhoods and make better use of existing homes. Wirral Council is committed to assisting empty property owners return their property to use, including financial assistance available through the Empty Property Grant scheme.
If you would like further information about the advice and assistance available in Wirral please contact the Housing Renewal Team on 0151 691 8132 or email email@example.com, further information is also available at https://www.wirral.gov.uk/housing/information-and-advice/empty-properties
For more information see: http://wirralview.com/news/wirral-drop-empty-homes-week
Wychavon District Council
Wychavon District Council has written to owners of empty properties in its area for Empty Homes Week. The letter stresses how empty properties can cost their owners money and the need for housing in the area. In addition, the letter promotes the financial assistance available from Wychavon District Council to fund essential repairs to empty properties and provides advice on reduced VAT for the costs of renovating and converting some very long-term empty properties.
If you would like to know more about the advice and assistance available for owners of empty property in Wychavon find out more at: https://www.wychavon.gov.uk/empty-homes?p_p_id=56_INSTANCE_DBlJhcpS96Fr&p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_state=normal&p_p_mode=view&p_p_col_id=column-1&p_p_col_count=1
EMPTY HOMES WEEK 2017 IN THE NEWS
The News and Star is featuring how Allerdale Council is encouraging people to apply for a grant during National Empty Homes Week. The article notes that grants are available for homes that have been empty for more than 12 months to cover up to 75 per cent of the price of the works. Eligible works include energy efficiency and renewable energy measures to reduce fuel poverty and carbon emissions; works to bring the property up to the Decent Homes Standard; fire safety measures and home security measures. Applicants will be expected to fund 25 per cent of the works.
For an additional article see: http://www.cumbriacrack.com/2017/10/16/grants-available-contribute-empty-homes-allerdale/
See also the radio coverage: http://www.lakelandradio.co.uk/news/local-news/grants-to-get-empty-homes-back-in-use/
Bolton News is covering the work of Bolton Council to bring homes back into use, including the availability of up to £20,000 loans to people who own a property that has been empty for more than six months and meet the eligibility criteria.
Cheshire West and Chester Council
The Winsford Guardian is featuring how Cheshire West and Chester Council has reminded residents about its aim to bring back into use 900 long-term empty homes by 2020. It also mentions how Cheshire West and Chester Council run Empty Home Surgeries on the first Tuesday of each month.
For the full article see: http://www.winsfordguardian.co.uk/NEWS/15593532.Council_highlights_empty_homes_mission/
For an additional article see: http://www.so-cheshire.co.uk/property-planning/13357/empty-homes-week
The North West Evening Mail is featuring how Copeland Borough Council is using Empty Homes Week to call on people to identify empty homes in their neighbourhoods and get in touch with the Council’s dedicated empty homes officer. The article quotes Mike Starkie, mayor of Copeland, saying: "We are always looking to reduce the number of empty homes and we actively work with the owners of empty properties to encourage, assist and sometime enforce change. "The officer locates empty homes, prioritises them and contacts a selection. In addition, whenever we receive a complaint, we take action. We look at the condition, length of time empty and what effect they have on the rest of the community. Owners are firstly helped to look at the best way of improving and using the property. This could mean advising on help-to-let properties, linking them with agencies that can assist with repairs so they can be sold, or advising on auctioning properties."
Cambridge News has an article looking at Cambridge City Council’s recently launched Empty Homes Loan Scheme that offers owners of long-term empty properties an interest-free loan for renovations to bring them back to a good standard. In return for the loan, the City Council asks for the homes to be rented through Town Hall Lettings scheme for a minimum of two years, with the loan being repaid through the rental income. The City Council us also encouraging residents to report empty homes.
For the full article see: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/empty-homes-number-cambridge-housing-13769623#r3z-addoor
An article in the Cornish Times features how a Cornwall Council scheme has loaned more than £2 million to property owners to bring more than 100 formerly empty homes back into use over the past 4 years. It also quotes the Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes - Andrew Mitchell saying ““This National Empty Homes Week, we want those people who may own an empty property to know about the help that is on offer from the Council so that we can assist them and ultimately provide a home.”
An article in the Dorset Echo features how councils in Dorset are raising awareness of the number of the empty properties in their areas, alongside the high housing demands. The article also features the availability of loans in the area to bring empty homes back into use.
For the full article see: http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/15597296.Council_bid_to_reclaim_empty_homes_for_families_in_need/
For an additional article see: https://news.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/2017/10/12/bringing-empty-homes-back-use/
Hastings Observer and Hastings online Times are covering how Hastings Borough Council is looking to reduce homelessness in the town by bringing empty properties back into use.
For the articles see: http://hastingsonlinetimes.co.uk/hot-topics/home-ground/hastings-empty-homes-scheme and http://www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/news/council-s-bid-to-bring-empty-homes-back-into-use-1-8169562
Lichfield Live features how Lichfield District Council is using Empty Homes Week, to highlight the work it is doing to liaise with property owners to get them back into use. The Council is urging people to contact it if they own an empty property or are worried about a derelict property and want it dealt with.
An article in Kent Online features how Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has pledged £100,000 to a scheme which aims to bring derelict homes back into use. The cash will go towards the No Use Empty interest-free loan scheme, which provides financial help to those looking to refurbish and redevelop housing that has been empty for more than six months. It will mean owners of uninhabited properties can borrow an additional £15,000 on top of the £25,000 already available under the scheme. This is said to unlock larger developments in the borough.
For the full article see: http://www.kentonline.co.uk/tunbridge-wells/news/council-cash-to-bring-empty-133689/
SkemNews.com features how St Helens Council is marking the start of National Empty Homes Week, by reminding residents and empty home owners of the help and support on offer to ensure they make the most of their property. The article looks at the council’s focus on properties that have been empty for 12 months or more. The article quotes Councillor Lisa Preston, St Helens Council’s portfolio holder for housing services saying “The council always tries to negotiate with owners, offering advice and support where appropriate. This can range from information on VAT relief, to putting owners in touch with potential renters or purchasers. “However, formal intervention may be required where owners refuse to meet their responsibilities, and this can range from serving Statutory Notices to deal with immediate issues such as rubbish and dangerous structures, to the use of Compulsory Purchase and Enforced Sale.”
For the full article see: http://skemnews.com/news/council-backs-empty-homes-week/
The North West Evening Mail is featuring the grants available in South Lakeland to bring empty homes back into use and a family who were able to stay in their hometown after a £20,000 grant was provided.
An article in the Sunderland Echo features a £1million project launched by Back on the Map- a Sunderland charity, to bring disused homes back into use. Over the last eight years, more than 70 properties have been acquired and refurbished by Back on the Map and a further 25 improved through funding by the Homes and Communities Agency and the council. The article goes on to state “now the charity is ploughing £390,000 of its own money into the project, alongside a long-term loan of £390,000 from Sunderland City Council and a £220,00 grant from The Virgin Money, in order to buy 20 family homes which will be renovated and and returned to the rental market”.
Bury free Press and East Anglian Daily Times are featuring how councils in West Suffolk are appealing for owners of empty homes to bring them back into use to help meet housing demand in the area. The articles cover the assistance available from St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath Councils, including the West Suffolk Lettings Partnership guaranteed rental scheme and Empty Homes Grants of up to £20,000 for essential works.
For the article see: http://www.buryfreepress.co.uk/news/hundreds-of-empty-homes-across-west-suffolk-councils-call-for-owners-to-bring-them-back-into-use-1-8199586 and http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/councils-urge-owners-of-long-term-empty-properties-in-west-suffolk-to-work-with-them-1-5240922
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