Council offering help to turnaround empty properties

North Tyneside Council's headquarters at The Quadrant.
North Tyneside Council's headquarters at The Quadrant.

Owners of empty properties are being urged to come forward if they need help renovating their homes.

As part of National Empty Homes Week – October 15 to 21 – North Tyneside Council is highlighting the support it offers.

Interest-free loans of up to £30,000 are available for necessary improvements to bring properties up to the statutory ‘Decent Homes Standard’ set by government.

The council lease the property, carry out repairs, then let the property as an affordable home. Costs of the improvements are recuperated by the local authority through the tenant’s rent.

Coun Steve Cox, cabinet member for Housing, said: “This is a great scheme; it helps to reduce the number of empty properties while also increasing the number of affordable homes available in the borough.

“The majority of vacant properties are generally empty for a relatively short period of time and do not lead to any problems. However, properties that stand empty for a long time can blight a community and generate complaints.

“If you are the owner of a property which has been empty for more than six months and are struggling to afford to complete the necessary repairs to get the property back into use, the council can help.”

“I’d really encourage owners to contact our team and find out more.”

The team will also be carrying out surveys in different areas of the borough, as part of Empty Homes Week, to understand why properties are standing empty.

To find out more, email PrivateSector.EmptyHomes@northtyneside.gov.uk or call (0191) 643 6207.