January 10, 2011 4.54 pm This story is over 156 months old

Cash incentive to restock empty homes

Incentive: Local councils can get extra cash for each empty property they bring back into use.

The Government said on Monday it would give local councils extra cash for each empty property they bring back into use.

Through a new scheme, central Government would match the council tax raised for every empty property brought back into use, which the council can spend at will.

The extra funding can be spent on council tax discounts, boosting local services, renovating more empty properties or improving local facilities.

In Lincoln, the City Council says there are 410 empty residential properties in the private sector, down from 548 this time last year.

Communities Minister Andrew Stunell urged people to work with their council to identify empty homes and get extra cash that can be used to improve their area:

“Long-term empty properties easily fall into disrepair, and attract the squatters, vandalism and anti-social behaviour that bring down our local neighbourhoods.”

“With as many as 300,000 long-term empty properties across the UK this precious resource is being squandered.

“Empty properties should instead be treated as an asset and brought back into use for those families that need somewhere to live.

Alison Timmins, Strategic Housing Manager at the City of Lincoln Council said: “It can be a very difficult, time-consuming and complicated process to bring privately owned empty properties back into use.

“However, we are part of a county-wide scheme to reduce the amount of empty homes we have in Lincolnshire, and we will continue to see this work as a priority, with the New Homes Bonus being an added incentive.”

The City of Lincoln Council claims there are no empty council homes in Lincoln.

Source: Department of Communities | Photo: Ian Britton