There were 52 fewer empty homes in Dover District in 2018, a drop of 10% over the year, according to latest Government figures. Dover District is one of only two Kent districts seeing a reduction as high as 10%. This comes as Kent County Council and Dover District Council continue to work together to address empty properties.
Kent County Council’s No Use Empty scheme provides property owners with interest-free loans of up to £25k per unit of accommodation to bring empty homes back into use as quality accommodation. Dover District Council supports the No Use Empty initiative and offers an additional £15,000 top-up loan, making a total of £40,000 per unit. All loans are secured and repayable after three years.
DDC is also currently working on the development of 24 new one and two bedroom apartments for social rent on Harold Street in Dover, and on 18 fully renovated self-contained sheltered residential Council flats at Norman Tailyour House in Deal.
KCC Cabinet Member for Economic Development Mark Dance said: “We have invested over £29 million into our No Use Empty scheme which has been hugely successful. That success has seen over 6,000 new homes since 2005, brought back into use at a fraction of the cost of building new ones. What makes it successful is that the loans are repaid into a central pot and are then issued to new projects which means it is constantly revolving. With the loans secured against the property it means there is little or no risk to the public purse, so it is a win-win for everybody. As a result we’re seeing the regenerative effects on our towns and communities in the county.”
Cllr Sue Chandler, DDC Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “No one likes to see empty properties, which is why we are working hard to bring them back into use. We’re delighted to support No Use Empty, which is having a real impact by providing practical and financial support to bring empty properties back into use, and bring people back into our town centres. No Use Empty is also being expanded into the commercial market, which will support DDC’s Town Centre Business Grant scheme.”
For more information on empty property statistics from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, please see the GOV.UK site, or for more information on empty properties, please see the No Use Empty web pages or see our empty homes pages.
Posted on 14 August 2019