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Empty Homes Loan Fund

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Saw this on the BBC this morning, not sure if it is really worth mentioning, but here it is anyway :)

Press release

2nd September 2013

An innovative new scheme aimed at bringing some of England’s 710,000 empty homes back into use is launching today in a move that will help to tackle the country’s housing shortage.

In a joint initiative between the charity Empty Homes, Ecology Building Society, central government and 39 participating local authorities, the scheme will provide loans of up to £15,000 to owners of empty properties to help bring them back into affordable use. 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 (see Editors’ notes).

The NEHLF has been funded by a grant of £3 million from central government and is being administered by Ecology Building Society, a specialist mortgage lender that supports sustainable communities. 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 6 months or more.

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Surprised at the lack of interest!

Seen a good few tweets about this - the 'scandal' of empty homes has had some attention in recent years following the Channel 4 series.

Anything that brings more dwellings back into use at a reasonable price thus increasing supply must be a good thing; better than the noose of Help to Buy.

A pity this wasn't the focus when £2b was put into Prescott's Pathfinder scheme - momey which enriched a few and failed to address housing issues.

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