Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Grants available to put empty homes back into housing market

RESIDENTS in West Somerset are being asked to keep an eye open for any homes which appear not to be lived in.
West Somerset Council has dedicated December to encouraging people to report homes which have been empty for six months or more.
The council can help owners bring such properties back into use so they can be leased to local people.
The council’s housing portfolio holder, Councillor Peter Humber, said: “West Somerset has a real shortage of affordable homes to rent and we have grants available to help bring houses onto the market.
“We have recently brought one home back into use and a further eight have schedules of work planned, but we have the capacity to bring more back into use with local people’s help.
“Sometimes, homes are inherited and have new owners who are not in the area, or they have fallen into disrepair because owners either do not have the interest or money to bring them up to a decent standard.
“Owners of redundant commercial buildings can also be helped where there is potential to convert buildings into dwellings for local people.”
The council is offering grants of up to £10,000 to bring empty homes up to the Government’s decent homes standard.
It can also help owners lease properties to people nominated from housing waiting lists or to sell them to local housing associations so they can be let.
Grants of up to £5,000 are available to owner-occupiers who cannot currently live in homes because they do not meet the decent homes standard.
Council environmental health manager Ian Timms said: “If the public knows of empty houses in their area, they can contact the council in confidence and we will track down the owners and do our best to get the house back into use.
“Even derelict properties can be returned to use, so we would encourage anybody who knows of an empty property to contact us.”
Grants are not available for second homes which may stand empty for many months.
Anybody who wants to report an empty home in West Somerset should call 01643 703704, or email customerservices@westsomerset.gov.uk.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.