South Somerset District Council supports empty property owners
National Empty Homes Week is a chance to raise awareness, celebrate progress and consider what more needs to be done to bring empty properties back into use to help meet housing needs.
In October 2017, the number of long-term empty homes recorded by English local authorities was 205,293. Not only are empty properties typically unsightly as their condition deteriorates over time, they also bring down the value of neighbouring properties and reduce the availability of local housing.
With 657 properties in South Somerset that have been empty for six months or more, South Somerset District Council are working with empty property owners to assist them to bring their properties back into use. There were 643 properties empty in the previous year; a rise of 14 this year.
The council work in partnership with not-for-profit lender Wessex Resolutions CIC to provide finance for home repairs. This enables an owner to then either rent their newly renovated property or put it on the market or move back into it themselves. By bringing an empty property back into use, the local community benefits through the addition of new housing and a pleasant place to live.
Through providing loans, the council are ensuring that funds for homeowners are sustainable which means that every repayment goes back into the council pot to lend to homeowners in the future.
Siblings, Chris & Julie took a loan from Wessex Resolutions CIC to bring their empty property back into use. Speaking about the loan, they said, "Having inherited a property in the South West which was uninhabitable, Chris and his sister Julie were not having any luck selling it. They were facing the burden of a long-term empty property. Wessex Resolutions CIC provided a capital repayment loan to enable Chris and Julie to realise the value of their asset and bring an empty property back into use."
Councillor Jason Baker, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Health added, "There has been a fantastic decrease in the number of empty properties in South Somerset over the last 12 months, but we are keen to work with other homeowners to reduce that number even further.
"An empty property can become unsightly and unwanted in an area; by taking up the option of a Wessex Resolution CIC loan, we can help to bring properties back into use."
For more information about obtaining a Wessex Resolution CIC loan, call 01823 461099, visit www.wrcic.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Loans have a fixed interest rate and typical 4.2% APR and are subject to status. Missing future payments could affect your credit rating and ability to obtain credit in the future. Wessex Resolutions CIC may insist on loans being protected at the Land Registry by a Title Restriction.