Owners of empty homes in Plymouth are being urged to take advantage of a new scheme that provides up to £50,000 support to breathe new life into their properties.
As Empty Homes Week (16 – 22 October) gets underway, Plymouth City Council is encouraging owners of some of the estimated 750 empty homes in the city to get in touch and request financial assistance.
The council is contacting empty home owners and appealing for others to come forward. As part of its Plan for Empty Homes and one of the authority’s 19 pledges, a £1million Empty Homes Fund has been made available, to assist with an overall target of bringing 375 long term empty homes back into use by 2021.
Empty Homes seminar
As part of the work to encourage empty home owners to get in touch, a seminar is being held at Ballard House on Thursday 19 October at 6.30pm with Helen Williams, Chief Executive of the national Empty Homes charity, and Thelma Cunningham, the Council’s lead on Empty Homes. If you’re an empty home owner, or a developer thinking of buying an empty property in Plymouth, you can sign up for the event here: https://emptyhomesinfoevening.eventbrite.co.uk
Councillor Steve Ricketts, Cabinet Member for Transport and Housing Delivery for Plymouth City Council, said: “Empty homes are a wasted resource, and their owners could be losing up to £10,000 per year in rent as well as even more in council tax and insurance premiums.
“In addition to this, long term empty homes are unsightly and can be subject to vandalism and anti-social behaviour, and can reduce the value of neighbouring properties by up to 20 per cent.”
Some facts about empty homes:
- Empty homes in Plymouth could be costing around £12.5 million in lost property value and can also reduce the value of neighbouring properties by up to 20 per cent.
- During 2016/17 alone, empty properties cost owners up to £5.4 million in lost rental income.
- In Plymouth we could house over 50 per cent of families currently in emergency housing need if we brought empty homes back into use.
Under the empty homes financial assistance package, all eligible applicants will be offered an interest free loan up to £50,000 of which up to 25 per cent of the total amount will be offered as a grant.
For more information or to download an application pack, visit www.plymouth.gov.uk/emptyhomes
You can also search #EmptyHomesPlym on twitter and facebook to find out more.