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Breckland Council launches empty homes grant scheme

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The owners of long-term empty homes in the Swaffham area are being offered grants to help bring them back into use.

But Breckland Council chiefs say they will only be able to access the full support available if the properties are offered for rent to people on the area’s social housing register.

The authority today launched a new empty homes support programme, which it hopes will increase the amount of accommodation available.

The Buttercross in Swaffham.. (2784674)
The Buttercross in Swaffham.. (2784674)

Property owners are being offered the chance to obtain up to £11,500 in grants to bring the buildings back into use.

However, the support is dependent on the properties meeting a “Decent Homes standard” on the completion of any work and them being made available to people on the authority’s housing register.

The exact period of such rental arrangements has not yet been finalised, though officials say it should be soon.

Alison Webb, the council’s executive member for health and housing, said: “Bringing empty homes back into public use will not only help meet the housing needs of local people who are looking for quality local accommodation, but also stop empty homes becoming a magnet for anti-social behaviour.

"We are quickly identifying properties in our area that need work, however if any local residents know or live by a property that has been empty more than six months, please contact us so our Empty Homes Housing Team can investigate further.”

Empty homes can be reported by emailing Privatesector.Housing@breckland.gov.uk or visiting www.breckland.gov.uk/housing-emptyhomes

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