Bringing empty homes back into use
Published by Shoreline for Shoreline Housing Partnership in Housing and also in Communities
North East Lincolnshire Council’s strategic housing service manager Debbie Fagan, House to Home project manager Steve Ferguson and Shoreline Housing Partnership chief executive Tony Bramley outside the first property signed up to the scheme.
Empty homes blighting the streets of North East Lincolnshire will be brought back to life through the launch of an innovative new renovation scheme.
House to Home is the new private sector leasing scheme – delivered by North East Lincolnshire Council and managed by housing specialists Shoreline Housing Partnership – to bring problematic empty private properties back into use.
The scheme enables privately-owned empty properties to go through an improvement programme to bring them up to a decent letting standard so they can be leased from the private owner and sublet to people in housing need and managed by a specialist landlord.
Homeowners with empty two or three bedroom properties could benefit from interest-free loans of up to £15,000 towards improvement works as well as a guaranteed level of rent.
The area’s first of its kind scheme provides a safe accessible path to refurbishing and upgrading long-term empty homes so they can be lived in, reducing the number of empty homes and homelessness across the borough.
Shoreline chief executive Tony Bramley said: “Empty homes are a waste especially when so many people are homeless or living in unsuitable housing. But they also have a negative impact on local neighbourhoods and streets – they’re often unsecure, unsafe and attract anti-social behaviour and frequently cause problems for our tenants and residents who live nearby.”
North East Lincolnshire Council’s portfolio holder for housing, Councillor Ray Oxby commented: “This is an excellent example of Shoreline and the council working in partnership to improve our neighbourhoods by tackling empty homes. This is a real opportunity for owners of empty properties to get help in returning empty homes into use for those who need them and I wholeheartedly commend the scheme.”
House to Home project officer Steve Ferguson added: “Having properties occupied is obviously in the owners’ interest but there could be many reasons why a property has been empty for so long including ill health and bereavement as well as financial difficulties.
“Shoreline has the specialist experience and knowledge to be able to work with homeowners, return the property to use and find tenants to live in it. Put simply we’re turning houses back into homes.”
Homeowners interested in the scheme can telephone 01472 572157 or visit www.housetohome-nelincs.co.uk for more information.