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Empty homes work generates a bonus

A reduction in the number of empty homes in South Holland over the past 12 months has generated a financial bonus for South Holland District Council.

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Between October 2015 and October 2016 the number of vacant properties fell from 258 to 232 and as a result, the council will receive a New Homes Bonus Payment of £180,745 from the government.

The authority's Private Sector Housing Team works alongside owners of empty homes to help bring them back into use.

Cllr Christine Lawton, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: "I would like to congratulate the team for their dedicated work over the past year. Getting such a big bonus payment is a fitting reward for their efforts.

"Bringing empty homes back into use can be a long process, taking up much officer time. We are determined to carry on reducing the number of empty properties in the district."

The team has been helping to renovate an empty property in Railway Lane, Sutton Bridge, which had fallen into disrepair and was being targeted by vandals and fly-tippers.

Initially the owner did not respond to letters from the team, so a Housing Health and Safety Rating Inspection was carried out earlier this year.

Due to its dilapidated condition, an Emergency Remedial Notice was served, meaning broken windows could be boarded up.

An Improvement Notice was then served, forcing the owner to carry out necessary repairs at their own expense to bring the property back to a decent standard.

This prompted the owner to get in touch and they have been in regular communication with the team ever since.

The property has recently had a new kitchen, bathroom, electrics and windows fitted.

New plumbing has also been installed as most of the original pipes had been stolen and decorating and garden clearance work carried out.

The renovation work is due to be completed at the end of November and the owner has agreed to let the property out.

If you have an empty home in your street that is causing problems report it to the Private Sector Housing team on 01775 764712 or email privatehousing@sholland.gov.uk

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