We are supporting national empty homes week, between Monday, 27 February and Sunday, 5 March.
The campaign, organised by Action on Empty Homes, raises awareness of the work being done across the country to reduce the number of long-term empty homes which negatively impact communities and neighbourhoods.
There are around 1,303 long-term vacant properties in Medway and, with a huge demand for housing in the area, we are doing all we can to encourage homeowners to turn their empty properties into future-proofed homes.
We are also part of Kent County Council’s No Use Empty scheme which offers loans to homeowners to help pay for any renovations that are needed to make their houses inhabitable once again.
The first interest-free loan has been issued to convert a property in Canterbury Street, Gillingham, which has been vacant for two years, into a house of multiple occupancy. The £150,000 loan will be used to completely refurbish the property into six new homes.
Doing everything we can to bring empty properties back into use
Cllr Howard Doe, Deputy Leader of Medway Council and Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “I am pleased we are supporting Empty Homes Week. We are building a wide range of properties, including affordable, across Medway to suit our residents’ needs but with a huge demand for homes it is important that we do everything we can to bring empty properties back into use. I am delighted that we have issued our first No Use Empty loan to a homeowner. I would encourage those with empty homes in Medway to find out more about the No Use Empty Scheme and the support on offer.”
Providing good quality housing
KCC’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Derek Murphy, said: “NUE is the longest-running empty property initiative in the country. Over the past 18 years its co-ordinated approach has returned 7,676 empty homes back into use across Kent through a range of interventions including short-term secured loans to provide good quality housing.
“I am pleased that we have been able to support Medway with this project and I am sure there will be more positive results ahead. NUE continues to go from strength to strength and now has blanket coverage across Kent and Medway.”