Property owners and landlords across the Deepings and Bourne have 5,000 reasons to bring their empty buildings back into use.
South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) is offering incentive grants of up to £5,000 to help landlords and building owners re-let their properties.
The district council has found scores of addresses in the Deepings and Bourne that are classed as long-term unoccupied at a time of rising demand for new homes.
Anne Marie Coulthard, the council’s business manager for environmental health, said: “It can be challenging for some owners of homes that have not been maintained over a number of years to bring them back into habitable condition.
“Therefore the Government’s Empty Homes Community Grants Programme is a channel to help improve the condition and value of the property and, in some cases, allows landlords to let the property in order to generate an income.”
The Empty Homes Community Grants Programme, now known as the New Homes Bonus, is a £4.8 billion Government-backed fund allowing South Kesteven and other district councils to work with property owners in tackling the housing shortfall by bringing empty homes back into use.
It can be challenging for some owners of homes that have not been maintained over a number of years to bring them back into habitable conditionAnne Marie Coulthard, SKDC business manager for environmental health
To qualify for funding, the property must have been empty for a minimum of six months and owners must agree to charge rent below the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) weekly rates of between £58.38 and £153.02 for a minimum period of three years.
In addition, the property must be brought back into use within 12 months of work starting although the grant does not cover fees, drainage, works already completed or repairs to outbuildings.
An SKDC spokesman said: “Properties that are empty and unfurnished will pay nothing towards council tax for the first month that they are empty.
For the next five months they pay 75 per cent of the charge, for the following 18 months 100 per cent and after two years the amount goes up to 150 per cent.
“However, if the property is undergoing major structural repair the charge is 75 per cent for the first 12 months followed by 100 per cent over the next year.
“Then after two years it rises to 150 per cent.”
For more details, call SKDC on 01476 406080.