Thousands of homes 'to be brought back into use'

Posted: 29 May 2012 13:23:52 GMT

            Property News - Thousands of homes 'to be brought back into use'

Andrew Stunell has pledged £145 million to tackle the problem of empty homes.

Thousands of properties in England are to be brought back into use thanks to a new government cash injection.

Communities minister Andrew Stunell revealed £145 million will be used to help tackle the empty homes problem, with 20 successful councils to share £60 million to help make the dwellings liveable and occupied.

In addition, more than £25 million will be handed to voluntary and community groups across the country to enable them to bring families into the abodes once again.

It is hoped the move will result in around 5,600 empty homes coming back into use - but Mr Stunell noted there is plenty more work to do before the issue is fully resolved and the crisis over.

Despite the number of empty properties in the UK standing at its lowest level since 2004, there are a total of 720,000 houses still unoccupied.

Mr Stunell - who is also the Liberal Democrat MP for Hazel Grove - described the situation as a "national disgrace", stating: "For every two families that need a home there is one standing empty. Empty homes bring down a neighbourhood and attract vandals and fly-tipping, as well as being a waste of much needed housing."

The politician said he was delighted to announce the new monetary boost - a move that has the potential to see thousands of currently empty homes soon occupied by a family in search of a suitable place to settle down.

"We need to do much more to tackle this problem. This government is breathing life back into these neglected neighbourhoods," he went on to note.

The investment will add to the £70 million already pledged to helping with the crisis, while television presenter George Clarke has been named an independent adviser to the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition on the matter.

Furthermore, an Empty Homes Premium has been introduced, which will enable councils to impose extra council tax on properties that have been left vacated for at least two years.

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