Rushcliffe Borough Council is working with E.ON with the aim of helping owners of long-term empty homes bring them back into use.
The authority has joined up with its Empty Homes Team to provide a comprehensive package of support, financial assistance and project management to accelerate action on homes that have been empty for over six months or more.
The Council has been working on returning empty homes to use since the adoption of its Empty Homes Strategy in 2019.
This is a further tool to reach out to those who are having difficulties in returning their properties back to occupation for reasons of finance, knowledge, finding tradespeople or having the time to refurbish their property.
Rushcliffe currently has around 500 privately owned empty properties which have been empty for more than six months and over 150 of them have been empty for more than two years.
The authority’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Housing and Planning Cllr Roger Upton met with Dr Jon Kirby, E.ON’s Head of Commercial Services at an empty home in the Borough.
Cllr Upton said: “The Council is committed to bringing empty homes back into use wherever possible as they bring nothing to the community they are in.
“They can attract complaints, vermin, anti-social behaviour and dereliction. It also brings an increased financial liability on owners as after a period they are charged twice the rate for council tax.
“The alternative is that when a house is brought back into use it brings value to the community as a home, where occupants can contribute to the local economy and local services.
“This joint scheme is a good opportunity for empty home-owners to engage with us, receive the support they need and bring back a property into use for the good of the community.”
Dr Kirby said: “By working with Rushcliffe Borough Council we aim to tackle the problem of empty properties and help to bridge the gap in the current UK housing shortage by bringing these properties back into a habitable condition.
“At E.ON we offer a range of solutions to meet our customer’s needs to ensure homes can be as energy efficient as possible and this is an example of us looking at how we can provide a more holistic approach to supporting wider communities.”
Residents that have a home that has been empty for six months or more and require further information can contact the Council’s Empty Homes Officer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0115 914 8314 or can also visit https://bit.ly/3tL7XLt.