Angus Council has welcomed the Scottish Government’s recent announcement that they are to launch a £4 million Empty Homes Loan Fund.
The loan fund should enable Angus Council and other local authorities across Scotland to access funding which will help private owners carry out essential repairs to their empty homes.
These would then be brought back into use as affordable rented housing.
The council is already using its own funds to bring 12 empty homes back into use with the refurbishment of an old homeless unit in Glenclova Terrace, Forfar.
On completion later this year, the 12 flats will be available for sale to waiting list applicants on a shared equity basis that makes the initial purchase price more affordable.
Angus Council housing spokesperson, Councillor Donald Morrison commented: “There are many private homes left empty across Angus for a whole range of different reasons. However, this creates a huge opportunity for us to make better use of our existing housing stock, so it’s important that Angus Council does all it can to help struggling property owners afford essential repairs.
He added: “With more than 1000 homes currently sitting empty across Angus, there is enormous potential for making better use of these existing assets, to help reduce the housing waiting list.
“However, the challenging financial climate means that owners cannot always find the funds needed to refurbish their properties to current standards.
“We believe that the Loan Fund will provide the kick start required to improve enough empty homes to start making a real contribution to the provision of affordable housing.
“I would urge anyone who owns an empty home to contact the council and find out what help is available.”
Kristen Hubert, Co-ordinator of the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, funded by the Scottish Government and hosted by Shelter Scotland, said: “We welcome the opportunity to work with Angus Council in developing their approach to bring more empty homes back into use for families and individuals who need them.
“We encourage the council and local authorities across Scotland to make a bid to the Empty Homes Loan Fund and take advantage of the opportunities available.”
Those with an empty home should contact: Strategic Housing, Neighbourhood Services, William Wallace House, Orchardbank, Forfar, DD8 1WH, Tel: 01307 476376, or visit website www.angus.gov.uk/emptyhomes
Angus Council is a member of the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, and empty homes can be reported at website http://www.reportemptyhomes.com/. Efforts are then made to trace owners.