Make an empty house a happy home - 13 April 2015

Make an empty house a happy home - 13 April 2015

 

Arun District Council is urging empty home owners to take advantage of funding to bring these properties back into use.

A Bognor Regis property has been empty for over seven years, and has recently been the cause of complaints due to its visual appearance and the length of time it has been left un-occupied. 

The Council is now in a position where they can offer funding to help empty home owners bring their properties back into a habitable condition, which will then be let through Northwood’s Letting Agency and the council’s housing options team, in order to offer a local family a place to live. 

The Local Authority is working in partnership with Northwoods Letting Agency to deliver the Guaranteed Rent Scheme which offers a full property management service for up to five years with no tenancy set up costs.

So far there are six properties involved in the scheme which are located across the Arun district. 

Those looking to take advantage of the funding can apply for a non-repayable grant up to £5,000 or an interest free £10,000 loan, which is deducted from the monthly rent.

Brian Pople, Head of Housing at Arun District Council, said: “The Council currently has around 500 empty homes and this scheme will help bring empty properties back into use.  

“This funding allows empty home owners to turn a once neglected property into a place they can offer to someone urgently seeking somewhere to live and a place they can call their home. I would urge as many people as possible to take advantage of this innovative scheme.

“Arun District Council is committed where possible to easing the national housing crisis by providing common sense solutions.  Empty houses are a wasted resource especially when there is such a shortage of homes.

I would encourage owners to contact the Council whenever possible. Empty homes can have an adverse effect on neighbours and communities.”

The scheme targets properties that have been empty for more than six months with the aim of working with the owner in order to bring the property up to a Decent Homes Standard.  It can then be let under the guaranteed rent scheme.

To find out more please contact Helen Stevens, Empty Property Officer at Arun District Council on 01903 737 788 or helen.stevens@arun.gov.uk