Shire council launches Empty Homes Loan Fund

Aberdeenshire Council.
Aberdeenshire Council.

As part of its drive to increase the number of affordable homes in the area, Aberdeenshire Council has introduced the Empty Homes Loan Fund.

The fund aims to bring empty properties in the private sector back in to use as affordable rented accommodation.

Owners of properties which have been empty for six months or more may be eligible for a loan of up to £30,000 to help renovate the property.

The council will work with a Registered Social Landlord (RSL) partner who would identify the works needed to bring the property up to their standards for letting and then carry out the work.

Tenants will then be chosen by the RSL and the rental income will pay off the loan and any associated costs.

If the loan is repaid before the lease period finishes the owner will get the rental income minus the management charge for the rest of the lease period.

Councillor Karen Clark, Chair of Social Work and Housing Committee said: “This is a great initiative to help people who have struggled to get the finance to carry out repairs themselves, or those with an empty property they wish to bring back into use.

!Not only will owners save money on repairs and council tax but their property will be used by those most in need of a home.”

To be eligible for the loan the property must be in your ownership and no longer in a leasable state, you must not have council tax arrears and must be willing to sign up to a lease for an agreed period of time which will be 5 years or more.

Rents will be set to 100% of the Local Housing Allowance which will range from £390 a month for 1 bed property through to £945 for a four bed property depending on the post code area.