Helping bring empty homes back into use

An innovative project has been launched in North Kesteven to help bring more long-term empty homes back into use.

No Caption ABCDE EMN-200813-142037001

The scheme represents a partnership between North Kesteven District Council and energy providers E.ON.

It aims to bring 30 long-standing vacant properties back into use across 15 months by offering support to owners to reverse the situation.

The project builds on work already being carried out by the council in relation to the issue; last year, for instance, 27 properties became re-occupied following action by the council.

No Caption ABCDE EMN-200813-142047001

Coun Ian Carrington said: “The council is committed to bringing empty homes back into use through a range of measures designed to encourage and assist empty home owners to respond positively.

“An empty home brings nothing to the community it is in. All it does is attract complaints, vermin, anti-social behaviour and dereliction. It also brings an increased financial liability on owners as after a period they are charged twice the rate for council tax.

“The alternative is that when a house is brought back into use it brings value to the community as a home, where occupants can contribute to the life and vitality of the community, the local economy and local services.”

Under the scheme, E.ON is offering owners a free, no obligation survey to establish what the property needs to bring it back into use.

Once the survey is completed and the owner is happy with the recommendations, E.ON can fully manage the refurbishment.

Alternatively, E.ON can offer to support owners who choose to do the work themselves or through a third party.

Residential solutions director at E.ON Nigel Dewbery said: “Working with North Kesteven District Council we aim to tackle the problem of empty properties and help to bridge the gap in the current UK housing shortage by bringing these properties back into a habitable condition.

“At E.ON, we offer a range of energy solutions to meet our customers’ needs to ensure homes can be as energy efficient as possible and this is an example of us looking at how we can provide a more holistic approach to supporting wider communities.”

Anyone who has a home that has been empty for six months or more and wants to find out more about the scheme is asked to email [email protected]