Council brings 2,000 empty homes back into use
An empty homes initiative in Kent has brought more than 2,000 empties back into use in seven years.
Kent Council has announced that its No Use Empty scheme has created more than 2,075 new homes since its inception in 2005, using existing assets.
The scheme is run across all 12 authorities in Kent and last year returned 398 homes to use - including 123 properties in Dartford and 33 in Gravesham.
Steve Grimshaw, project manager for the scheme, said: ‘To reach 2,000 homes is a fantastic achievement and testament to the hard work of the empty homes officers across the county. There remains a housing shortfall across Kent, and given the low levels of house building, empty homes are an important part of the solution.’
The scheme issues interest free loans to owners of empty homes to fund the repairs and refurbishments needed to bring them back into use. Owners can apply for up to £25,000 per unit, which is repayable in three years.
The scheme has issued £5.5 million in loans since 2005 and has received additional private funding of £12.5 million, taking the total investment in empty homes in Kent to £18 million.
No Use Empty is the longest running empty homes initiative in the UK and last summer Bristol Council and the West of England partnership launched their own empty homes initiative under the No Use Empty banner.