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Could a grant help turn Breckland's 1,500 empty houses back into homes?

PUBLISHED: 11:10 23 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:29 23 September 2019

Alison Webb, executive member of housing, health and environment at Breckland Council. Picture: Keith Mindham

Alison Webb, executive member of housing, health and environment at Breckland Council. Picture: Keith Mindham

copyright keith mindham photography

Ten of thousands of pounds could be up for grabs for local people to help turn the region's 1,500 empty houses into homes.

As part of National Empty Homes week, Breckland Council is reminding landlords about new and existing grant funding to help improve a vacant properties in the area.

Alison Webb, executive member of housing, health and environment, said: "We can help the owners of empty properties to access a range of substantial grants from national and local government to bring homes back onto the rental market.

"This will help them to secure a regular return on their property, while making an empty house a home for local people."

The council is urging homeowners to come forward for help in accessing the national grant funding.

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There are currently around 1,500 empty homes in the Breckland area and bringing more back onto the market could help to meet the demand for housing locally.

There are a number of grants available including up to £5,000 as a restore grant, aimed at restoring empty homes into liveable properties, as well as a further £3,000 to improve energy efficiency from the decent homes standards grant pot.

These grants have been made available to help to ensure households meets current energy efficient standards and is fit to live in and are primarily aimed at homes which are currently empty.

Housing without central heating systems or with heating in need of updating may also be eligible for grants of up to £3,500 via a warm homes fund, which is administered locally, while national grants of up to £30,000 are available to make properties more accessible for people with disabilities.

- The National Landlord Association will be hosting a free Breckland Landlord Forum on October 7 at Breckland Council, Elizabeth House, in Dereham, from 5.30pm.

Grants, household energy efficiency solutions, and disabled facilities information will be discussed in depth.

- For more information, go to www.breckland.gov.uk/restoregrant.

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