Angus Council is launching a £100,000 campaign to turn empty properties into homes that people want to live in.
The Empty Homes Grant Fund will help owners of empty homes to bring long-term unoccupied properties back into residential use.
There are an estimated 47,000 long-term empty properties in Scotland, with around 1200 of those in Angus where demand is high for affordable housing.
Communities Convener, Cllr Mark Salmond said: “We are determined to increase the supply and availability of affordable housing for individual people and families in Angus.
“Building affordable homes that people are proud to call home is one way we can and do achieve this. But we must not ignore the 1200 or so empty properties that, with our support, can provide vital housing for those in need of a home.
“An empty home can have a negative impact on a neighbourhood and so this is money well spent - not just in support of people and families, but for our communities too. By reducing the number of empty homes in Angus, we make our communities better, more attractive and vibrant places to live.”
Owners of an empty property that has lain empty for at least six months could benefit from the fund, which launches on Monday 1 February.
Grants are awarded on a discretionary basis for property types where the Council considers there is a demonstrable demand for housing, subject to availability. Grant subsidy is capped at a maximum of £7,500 per bedroom and is directed at necessary improvements to bring properties up to a standard that is fit for occupation.
On completion of the project. successful applicants must rent the property out as affordable housing for a minimum period of five years. By receiving the grant, owners are also committing to renting their property to a person who is working with the housing service to explore their housing options.
The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership encourage action to bring Scotland privately-owned long-term empty homes back into residential use. The launch of the Angus Council Empty Homes Grant Fund was welcomed by Shaheena Din, National Project Manager, Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, who said: “We are delighted that Angus Council is launching an empty homes grant fund.
“The reasons that homes lie empty for long periods are often complex, for example owners who inherit properties without the means to renovate them to letting standard.
“This initiative will provide access to much-needed funds to bring properties back to habitable standards, meaning more available housing in Angus and the benefits to local communities and economy that result from the transformation of empty homes.”
Angus Council works to create strong secure communities, an enterprising workforce, and sustainable development over the range of public services for which it has responsibility. We are a customer and citizen focused organisation and work to deliver accessible, effective and efficient services for the county\'s population.