Monday, April 15, 2013

Nairn one of three pilot areas in a scheme intended to bring empty properties back into affordable housing use.

The Highland Council states in a press release:

"Three areas in the Highlands are to pilot an initiative by The Highland Council to bring empty properties back into affordable housing use.

The Council’s Housing and Property Service is to initially target the Black Isle, Inverness Central and Nairn, as pilots which together provide a mix of rural and urban locations.

A Housing Development Assistant is to be engaged, initially for one year, to create a database of empty properties and develop and co-ordinate action.
The Council is to match a £400,000 grant from the Scottish Government’s Empty Homes Loan Fund with £400,000 from its Private Sector Housing Grant to promote the initiative.

A condition of the Scottish Government grant is that the property being brought back into use is used as affordable housing for a minimum of five years. Affordable housing is defined as housing for social rent, intermediate rent (between market rent and social rent) or shared equity. Funding can be used to assist owners to bring their property up to a suitable standard or assist the Council or a partner organisation to purchase properties and bring them up to a suitable standard." More information here. 


Anonymous said...

It's been mooted before, but why not double the council tax on privately owned empty homes and the same for all holiday homes. Might bring more properties to the market or be made available for people who need homes and would raise some much needed monies for the council

Homeward Bound said...

So - the first thing the Council does under this new pilot initiative is... to employ a "Housing Development Assistant, initially for a year" (at an unspecified salary). The task? "to create a database of empty properties and develop and coordinate action".

Er, excuse me. Doesn't the Council know how many empty properties there are? And isn't there already a well-staffed Housing Department whose job it is to "develop and co-ordinate action".

Job-creation is all very well - but couldn't the money be better spent in assisting would-be tenants to refurbish unused properties themselves, which they can then occupy?

Anonymous said...

move homeless people into the lavish council chambers as they are seldom used,i know the answer,,nimby

growtosow said...

baron taylor house sitting empty could something not be done with this? and would agree with homeward bound making jobs/ perhaps HC should rethink this one. make better use of the staff they have. who pays for it at the end of the day?