A new landlord reward scheme designed to increase the stock of private rented accommodation in the marketplace in Rochford, Essex, has been launched.
Rochford District Council is offering landlords cash payments of £5,000 to accommodate homeless families as a shortage of social housing forces authorities to court the private sector with this new incentive.
The council is making the funds available to landlords with long-term empty properties that could be brought back into use in order to help meet the local housing need.
The new scheme replaces an old initiative, introduced two years ago, in which the council offered landlords a £1,000 incentive to restore empty homes.
There are more than 700 people on the waiting list for a property in Rochford, including hundreds of families in need of permanent accommodation.
Aside from boost the supply of much needed housing, the council hopes the scheme will also help to improve neighbourhoods throughout the district.
There are currently 220 homes in the district recorded as empty, 31 of which have been so for more than five years.
Cllr Mike Webb of Rochford District Council, said: “Not only are empty homes a loss of valuable housing, but they can impact on our local communities by attracting flytipping and anti-social behaviour and bringing down property prices.
“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.”
Anyone interested in the scheme should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.