Landlords of empty homes in Brighton and Hove are being offered interest-free loans to bring the properties back into use.
Brighton and Hove City Council is offering loans of up to £20,000 to owners of properties that have been empty for six months or more in a new Golden Ticket scheme.
Under the terms of the offer, the council will then rent out and manage the property for five years, after which time the rental arrangement can be reviewed.
Cllr Bill Randall, chair of the housing committee at Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “Demand massively outstrips supply for housing in Brighton & Hove. Housing that stands around empty for long periods of time is unacceptable, attracts anti-social behaviour such as fly tipping and brings the local community down.
“Our empty property team bring around 150 properties a year back to use but we need to bring significantly more back. I am convinced that if more owners knew the benefits of working with us, the majority of them would be bringing their empty homes back to use with our financial help and support.
“We understand that there are often complex reasons why a home is empty and try to avoid penalising those who have genuine reasons so we try to work with owners to bring properties back to use rather than taking enforcement action.”
More than £3 million in funding has been given to Brighton & Hove City Council and Lewes District Council by the Homes & Communities Agency which will be used as an incentive for the new leasing scheme. Interested empty property owners are advised to come forward quickly because the funding is limited.