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Lincoln council continues bringing empty homes back to use

The City of Lincoln Council’s Executive has agreed on funding to continue bringing empty homes back to use.

At the Executive Committee on March 24, councillors agreed to jointly pay for the Empty Homes Project Officer position, with time shared between the city council and North Kesteven District Council.

The project has managed to bring 60 unused homes back into use across the city since 2010.

Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of the council, said: “It’s absolutely essential that we get as many empty homes back into use to deal with the acute housing shortage faced by the city.

“Our empty homes staff have done a fantastic job in bringing 63 such homes back into use in the last three years.

“These have represented in the past a wicked waste of resources, often blighting local neighbourhoods when properties have begun to deteriorate.

“It also gets some recognition for income derived from the Government’s New Homes Bonus Scheme.

“The money spent on employing an Empty Homes Officer is money very well spent and is more than recouped in terms of achieving some of the benefits of bringing such homes back into use for people to buy or rent.”

The pilot first launched in 2010 using Housing Renewal Grant funding from the Regional Housing Group via a partnership of six local authorities in Lincolnshire.

The project was then extended in Lincoln to March 31, 2014, with a joint partnership between CoLC and NKDC, who already wish to continue the arrangement.

The post will cost the council £20,000 per year and be funded out of the improved budget for the New Homes Bonus.