Friday, 9 March 2012
FUNDING TO BRING EMPTY HOMES BACK INTO USE IN THANET
Funding of more than half a million pounds is coming to Thanet to help bring another 30 empty homes back into use over the next three years.
The money, £535,000 from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), has been awarded to Thanet District Council as part of the Empty Homes Programme 2012-2015. The funding is part of a total of £70 million being distributed across the country to deliver 5,600 affordable homes.
Once the properties are renovated and brought back into use, they will be added to the council’s existing stock of housing and be rented at affordable rents through the council’s choice based lettings scheme.
It’s the first time that the HCA has administered an Empty Homes Programme, which will fund the refurbishment of properties that have been standing empty for a minimum period of six months.
Since 2005, the council’s empty property initiative has seen 533 homes brought back into use. The most successful year was 2010/11, with 108 properties successfully targeted during that one year. So far, from April to December 2011, another 84 properties have been brought back into use.
Cllr. Iris Johnston, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “We all know what a blight empty properties can be on our area. It’s these properties that we want to target to create homes for those who need them. We hope to provide new council homes for around 100 people, thanks to this funding. Although we know this is a drop in the ocean when you look at the total number of people on our housing waiting lists, anything we can do is a step in the right direction.”
The council will also be applying for further funding from the HCA over the next few months to bring even more empty homes back into use.