Owners of vacant homes in the Rochford district in Essex are being offered grants of up to £1,000 by Rochford District Council to bring their properties back into use in a desperate bid to help alleviate the housing shortage in the area.
So far the enforcement officers have inspected 70 empty homes across the district as part of a drive to increase the supply of much needed new housing by getting empty homes refurbished and back into circulation, but the planning enforcement team are hoping to visit as many as 400 vacant properties over the next few months.
It is hoped that the £1,000 “Empty House Grant” will be used by landlords to kick-start work to get a property back into use.
Ian Ward, Rochford District Council’s councillor responsible for planning, commented: “The benefits of bringing empty properties back into use are two-fold.
“Firstly, it can help us to meet our local housing supply needs, and secondly it helps improve the overall appearance of the district.
“It can really make a difference to the way we feel about our town or village when we see that all the houses on our street are in a good state of repair.”
Residents in the Rochford district can report any vacant homes by clicking here so the owners can be offered support and advice to get them back into circulation.