Durham County Council (DCC) has started a programme where its aim is to get empty properties back into use.
As part of the Empty Homes Cluster Programme it is offering grants and other incentives to get people to invest in these homes whether it is to let or live in themselves. They have secured funding from Central Government so that they can offer the following:
• An interest-free repayment loan of up to £15,000 to carry out renovation works to long-term empty properties repayable over a maximum period of 10 years.
• A white goods grant of up to £1,000 for owners who intend to rent their properties out, to supply white goods in their properties.
• A £5,000 move-in grant for owner-occupiers who purchase a long term empty property to move into for a minimum period of three years.
Any property that has been left unoccupied for more than six months is deemed to be an empty property. The Council is offering help to those looking to invest as well as those who are stuck with a property they don’t want, can’t rent or sell.
For anyone who has become an accidental landlord but doesn’t want the hassle of managing the property, the Council is offering help and advice on to how to make the best of the situation instead of just letting the property go to waste or end up in a state of disrepair.
There is also help and advice to those who own homes or are looking to buy a home that is in a state of disrepair.
The National Landlords Association (NLA) fully supports the initiative from DCC. It says there is a need for more housing and this is an ideal way to help with housing shortage as well as homelessness.
The incentives are available to properties which fall into the Band A and Band B Council Tax criteria.