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Council’s £2,500 gifts for National Empty Homes Week

  • Council and democracy

Barnet Council will offer the owners of vacant properties an extra £2,500 in grant funding for works to bring them back into use during National Empty Homes Week.

Ordinarily, the council would offer £15,300 for a one-bedroom property, £20,400 for two bedrooms and £25,500 for three or more. The figure will rise by £2,500 in each category for anyone who registers interest in the grant aid during Empty Homes Week and applies for it by November 30. To apply for an Empty Homes Grant, call 0208 359 4359 or email empty.properties@barnet.gov.uk

If there’s an empty property near you, please report it to Barnet Council via 0208 359 4359 or empty.properties@barnet.gov.uk, so that the owner can be traced and offered help.

Councillor Gabriel Rozenberg, Chairman of the Barnet Council Housing Committee, said: “Barnet has hundreds of vulnerable families in housing need who are looking for a long-term home. When we face such an extreme supply shortage, it’s vital that any empty homes are brought back into use as quickly as possible.

“Empty Homes grants give landlords great incentives to help out Barnet’s social housing tenants. Landlords gain a guaranteed monthly rental income for a minimum of five years under the scheme. And having homes occupied means a reduction in the risk of vandalism, squatting or burglary. It’s a win-win.”

The elderly owner of a three-bedroom flat in Central Finchley recently transformed her property seven years after it was declared inhabitable with the help of an Empty Homes Grant. It is now once again providing a home for a family in housing need.

A grant can be used to convert your property into self-contained flats, bring it up to the ‘decent homes’ standard, or demolish and rebuild it. It can also be used for works including electric rewiring, updating bathrooms and kitchens, providing heating or hot water, damp proofing and much more.

Barnet Council also offers grants of up to £20,000 for people who are in hospital or social care, for any adaptations they may need to return home safely. E-mail empty.properties@barnet.gov.uk or call 0208 359 4359 to learn more.

At a glance:

  • There are over 2,000 long-term empty properties in the borough of Barnet, which have been vacant for six months or more.
  • At the same time, the team at Re – the joint venture between Capita and Barnet Council – has brought 768 empty properties back into use since April 2014.
  • There are 2,101 Barnet residents who have been assessed as being in housing need and waiting for a suitable home to become available under the council’s allocations scheme.

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