The awareness week, which runs every year, focuses on the wasted housing resource of long-term empty homes. Turning empty properties into valuable homes is beneficial to both owners, tenants and the local community.
North Somerset Council helps owners of empty homes in a number of ways:
- The council work in partnership with Lendology CIC to provide council funded empty property loans to homeowners. This allows homeowners to spread the cost of completing a renovation project. Lendology consider a range of applications from individuals who may have inherited a property but be unsure how to bring it back into use, through to landlords who are planning renovation of an empty property
- Their dedicated lettings team offer a free service which includes finding and matching suitable tenants, free property checks, as well as providing ongoing advice and support for tenants and landlords, including grants of up to £1,200 to help get homes ready for tenants
- The council can also offer advice on issues such as obtaining VAT reductions on refurbishment works or on energy efficiency measures.
Cllr Mike Bell, Deputy Leader of North Somerset Council and executive member for housing, said: “While the numbers of long-term empty homes in North Somerset is relatively low in comparison to some areas, each one represents a potential new home for a family in need.
“It’s a great shame there’s this wasted resource, at a time when we need more quality homes across North Somerset.
“As a council we can help owners of empty properties bring them back into use and North Somerset residents can report any empty homes which are causing concern in their neighbourhoods to us. I’d urge any owners to contact us and find out how we can help to bring their properties back into use.”
Emma Lower, Chief Executive of Lendology CIC, said “Empty homes are a valuable resource being put to waste at a time when housing is so important.
“We understand the challenges people face in financing and renovating empty homes, hence we would like to promote the lending scheme funded by North Somerset Council. Our unique approach to lending allows us to solve a range of finance issues in local communities and we love turning empty houses into loved homes.”
For more information about the help available to bring empty homes back into use visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/emptyhomes or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The council’s lettings team can be contacted at email@example.com with more information about their free service www.n-somerset.gov.uk/freelettingservice.
Visit www.lendology.org.uk or call 01823 461 099 to find out more about the loan scheme.