The provision of funding to bring up to 2,000 currently empty home properties across Northumberland back into full-time use has been announced.
Launched on just September 2nd, the National Empty Homes Loans Fund is providing £3 million for the renovation and recommissioning of empty homes up and down the country over the coming months.
In Northumberland, money from the scheme is being mixed with investment from both Northumberland County Council and charity Empty Homes to provide loans of up to £15,000 for individuals who own derelict and run-down property in order to make it fit for future residential use.
Councillor Allan Hepple, policy board member for housing, regeneration and planning at Northumberland County Council, said: “Housing services often work with outside agencies to secure additional help for property owners. In this case the private sector team has been able to find some extra financial support to help owners bring some of the empty properties in Northumberland back to a habitable standard.
“In many cases the properties remain empty because owners simply do not have the funds to get the required work done.”
The first secured loan of £12,000 has now been approved as part of the scheme for a property in Blythe that has been empty for the past two years.
Renovation work on the property is now underway and the owner is hoping to have it fit to be made available for affordable letting within the coming months, highlighting the positive response the initiative has already witnessed among owners in the area.
Owner of the Blythe property currently under renovation Paul Calder added without this loan, he would never have been able to afford to carry out the work and bring the premises back into full-time use.
Delivering more much-needed homes across the district is one of the main driving forces behind the scheme, as Northumberland home seekers are currently suffering from a dearth of available properties.
Indeed, in the wake of the news, David Ireland, chief executive of Empty Homes, noted: “It’s fantastic to see tangible results of the National Empty Home Loans Fund so quickly.”
Anyone wishing to apply to take part in the project can do so by getting in touch with Northumberland County Council – something the local authority is keen to see more of, as empty homes can blight an area and result in a hit on property values for those residents who remain.
All loans offered as part of the scheme are being charged at a rate of five per cent per annum.
Individuals who plan to leave their property empty for 30 days or more may be finding it difficult to arrange insurance for their property – but this is where the expert team at GSI Insurance Services (Southern) Limited could help.
We provide comprehensive empty home insurance for all those wishing to have flexible cover that suits their needs.
What is also great about unoccupied property insurance from GSI Insurance Services (Southern) Limited is the fact it can be transferred back to a standard home insurance policy with a single phone call – what could be easier than that?