Councils take action to help restore empty homes into family homes across the district
Babergh and Mid Suffolk Councils have this week agreed to the new Empty Homes Policy, which aims to reduce the number of long-term empty properties in the districts. There are currently over 1000 empty properties across the districts which, once restored, will help ease the growing demand for homes for residents.
The policy will put into place several long-term actions that will help property owners turn empty homes into safe and secure places to live, as well as a viable source of income.
The policy’s initiatives will see the councils:
- Actively identify properties that are having an adverse impact on the community, or the sustainability of the neighbourhood
- Regularly monitor the number of empty properties across Babergh and Mid Suffolk
- Proactively contact any property owner where it is believed the property has been empty for a period exceeding six months and advise them on the range of initiatives, options and assistance available to them
- Promote the Empty Home Renovation Loan, to assist owners of empty home residential properties to carry out the works needed to bring them back into use. Such as the installation of a central heating system, electrical rewiring, repairing leaking roofs - ensuring theses homes have an acceptable energy efficiency rating.
Supporting the new policy is the Empty Homes Renovation Loan - an interest free loan of up to £20k. The loan has been created to help owners to renovate properties that have been empty for more than six months. The Loan can be used to fund major renovations to transform them into secure and inhabitable homes.
Cllr Jan Osborne, said:
“This is a positive step forward in helping us provide the housing needed across the district, no matter how many homes we build or acquire it is a challenge to ensure people have a place to call home.
“With this renewed focus on empty properties, we can bring empty homes back into occupation and provide more homes across the district to meet local need and maximise the use of existing private sector housing. Making them part of sustainable and thriving communities.
Cllr Lavinia Hadingham, said:
“The adoption of this policy will help us to provide more homes support our aim and to maximise the use of existing private sector help address the need for local housing.
“Renovating empty homes, particularly those that has been left for long periods of time, is a big financial commitment and we know that some are struggling to even get started. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of the Empty homes renovation loan, which I’m sure will make a real difference in helping empty homeowners take the first steps in restoring these homes.”