A new loan fund has been launched to bring empty properties in Mansfield back into use, and local landlords are being encouraged take advantage of the scheme.
In a joint initiative between Mansfield District Council, the charity Empty Homes, central government and the Ecology Building Society, the scheme provides loans of up to £15,000 to owners of empty properties to help bring them back into affordable use.
To mark National Empty Homes Week this week, landlords in Mansfield are being urged to make the most of the initiative, which the council has recently signed up to, and bring some of the 1,135 private homes standing empty in Mansfield back into circulation.
Councillor Derek Evans, the council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing Strategy and Regeneration, said: “We know that many empty properties exist within our area because owners simply do not have the money that is required to bring them back up to a habitable standard and this initiative will make a start on tackling this.”
The fund was one of the demands of last year’s Great British Property Scandal campaign, led by architect and broadcaster George Clarke.
Currently, owners of empty homes are often unable to access funds to bring the properties back into use, creating a vicious cycle of decline in areas with high numbers of empty properties.
The National Empty Homes Loan Fund (NEHLF), will enable access to secured loans at a fixed 5% interest rate, and will enable owners to renovate the property to Decent Homes standard.
It should provide funding for hundreds of properties and is available to individuals aged 18 and over who own a property that has been empty for six months or more.
As well as participating in the NEHLF, the council has received grant funding to enable it to purchase long term empty properties - those over five years - to refurbish and rent out.
The funding available is limited and the council would need to buy the properties within the next few months. If you own a long term empty property and would like to put it forward for the council’s consideration, call the Empty Property Officer on 01623 463209.
Individuals can apply for the loan through Mansfield District Council by contacting Strategic Housing on 01623 463 212. Normal identification checks and affordability criteria will apply. Visit www.emptyhomes.com for more details of the scheme.