Don’t let it stand empty – let it!
Interest free loans are being offered to landlords of empty properties to bring them back into use as part of Brighton & Hove City Council’s drive to tackle the city’s housing crisis.
The new ‘Golden Ticket’ scheme comes during National Empty Homes Week 2013 (24 November- 30 November) to promote up to £20,000 worth of interest free loans to owners of properties that have been empty for six months or more. There is also grant funding available for larger schemes and through some local community groups that are also funded.
Under the terms of the offer, the council will then rent out and manage the property for five years, after which time the rental arrangement can be reviewed.
Cllr Bill Randall, Chair of the Housing Committee, said:
‘Demand massively outstrips supply for housing in Brighton & Hove. Housing that stands around empty for long periods of time is unacceptable, attracts anti social behaviour such as fly tipping and brings the local community down.
“Our empty property team bring around 150 properties a year back to use but we need to bring significantly more back. I am convinced that if more owners knew the benefits of working with us, the majority of them would be bringing their empty homes back to use with our financial help and support.
“We understand that there are often complex reasons why a home is empty and try to avoid penalising those who have genuine reasons so we try to work with owners to bring properties back to use rather than taking enforcement action.”
More than £3 million in funding has been given to Brighton & Hove City Council and Lewes District Council by the Homes & Communities Agency which will be used as an incentive for this new leasing scheme. Interested empty property owners are advised to come forward quickly because the funding is limited.
Notes to editors:
To get more information contact the Empty Property Officer, Housing, 4th Floor Bartholomew House, Brighton BN1 1JP. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01273 293297 or 293035