Funding boost gives new option for owners of empty homes

Owners of empty properties in West Suffolk who are keen to see them lived in once again are being urged to speak to affordable homes provider Havebury Housing Partnership.

The company has have been awarded £547,000 to buy, refurbish and re-let homes that have been empty for six months or more.

The offer is not limited to empty homes, but could include commercial buildings that have been on the market for a long time.

Leasing could also be an option if owners are not willing to completely part company with an empty family home.

Havebury is working in partnership with St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council to establish a range of properties to refurbish for those in housing need.

Borough councillor representative for Haverhill and cabinet member for housing Anne Gower said: “Properties can be left empty for many reasons and can cause problems due to vandalism and may also damage neighbouring properties, not to mention the deterioration of the empty property itself.

“We are delighted that Havebury has been awarded this funding and look forward to working with them on this initiative”.

Both councils are writing to owners of long term empty homes asking if they would be willing to sell.

Havebury would like to hear from you if you are aware of any long term empty properties in the area.

The homes will be allocated and let as part of Havebury’s general stock, through the Homelink scheme.

Contact Melanie Mills at Havebury on 01284 722008.

The money was allocated by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) as part of the £100m of Empty Homes funding announced by Government in the last comprehensive spending review to buy and refurbish long term empty homes.

Cllr Rona Burt, Forest Heath District Council cabinet member for housing, said: “This funding opens up all kinds of options for bringing empty property back into use, and we are urging owners to come forward and discuss their options with us.”

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (May 31) Echo.