Council launches new loan scheme to help property owners bring empty properties back in to use

News release from 6 September 2017, 11:55am

An empty homes loan scheme is being introduced by Cambridge City Council to help the owners of empty properties to bring them back into use.

The scheme aims to help property owners pay for essential improvements to their property and to support them with letting it.

Property owners can apply for an interest free loan of up to £25,000 to carry out essential renovations and modernisations, such as installing a heating system or making improvements to kitchens and bathrooms, in order to make their property suitable to be let to tenants.

The loans are repaid by the property owner through the rental income the property generates within an agreed period, usually between two and five years.

To be eligible, property owners need to agree to the property being rented through Town Hall Lettings – the council’s not-for-profit lettings agency – or a similar housing provider, for the duration of the loan period.

According to data from Council Tax records, there are around 70 properties that have been empty for two years or more. The owners of these properties will be provided with information about the loan although any empty home owner is welcome to get in touch if they are interested in finding out more.

Cllr Kevin Price, Executive Councillor for Housing, said: “Our empty homes loan scheme is good news for anyone who wants to improve their home for a new tenancy.

“We have a large student population in Cambridge so there will always be empty homes in the short term, but we know there are also properties that have been empty for a much longer time.

“This loan is aimed at helping those homeowners and I would strongly encourage them to use the loan to provide a much needed home for a family, couple or individuals.”

The loan scheme is a part of the council’s Empty Homes Strategy which sets out initiatives the council is taking to make currently empty homes available for people who need housing.

Owners of an empty property who would like to discuss how the council can help them bring it back into use can call 01223 458050 or email env.services@cambridge.gov.uk.