Empty homes

Empty homes are a wasted resource in terms of housing available for people to live in and they can also have a negative impact on their surrounding communities, as well as being a financial burden for many owners. South Cambridgeshire is in a high area of demand for affordable housing and there are currently over 4,800 people on the housing register looking for accommodation. The Council is therefore committed to making the most of existing stock within the District and wants to encourage owners to bring long-term empty homes back into use.

Empty Homes Strategy 2012-2016

The Empty Homes Strategy was approved in March 2012. This Strategy was kick-started by surveying home owners of properties empty for 6+ months to find out what assistance we could provide to help bring empty homes back into use and why homes are left empty - to give us a better understanding of the situation in South Cambs. A copy of the the survey form and results are available to download.

Bringing empty homes back into use is a Government priority and seems to be hitting the headlines nationally and locally at the moment. Luckily South Cambs does not experience the high levels of empty homes as some areas with just under 1% of the total housing stock empty for over 6+ months. However, for every empty home in South Cambs there are 9 people on our housing register looking for a home, that's not to mention all those looking for a home but not registered for social housing - therefore we have to ensure we are doing everything possible to help turn these properties into homes.

One of the outcomes of undertaking the survey and developing the Strategy has been the implementation of the Empty Homes Grant Initiative (see below for further details). Using S.106 money received in lieu of affordable housing, we have been able to fund the scheme to provide grants/loans to empty property home owners to bring their properties back into use through our Private Sector Leasing Scheme - which provides essential much sought after housing for those most in need and likely to face homelessness. This scheme has been worked up in conjunction with King Street Housing Society.

Download a copy of the Empty Homes Strategy 2012-2016.

Empty Homes Grant Initiative Scheme

As part of the development of the Empty Homes Strategy, the Council in partnership with King Street Housing Society are piloting the Empty Homes Grant Initiative. The purpose of the scheme is to provide financial assistance (through S.106 affordable housing contributions) to help bring back long-term empty properties into use with the aim of providing additional affordable accommodation in order to meet local housing needs. Grants are awarded at the Council's discretion in return for properties being let through the Council's Private Sector Leasing Scheme at an Affordable Rent.

For further information - please refer to the Empty Homes Scheme User Guide.

If you have any queries in relation to empty properties - please contact strategic.housing@scambs.gov.uk

Supporting Documentation

Appendices

Appendix A - PSL Minimum Standards

Appendix B - PSL Scheme

Appendix C - Scoring Matrix

Appendix D - Flowchart Empty Homes Grant

Appendix E - Example of Private Sector Leasing Agreement

Forms

Empty Homes Scheme Application Form  (owner to complete)

Recommendation to Approve Empty Homes Grant  (King Street Housing Society to complete)

Grant Approval Letter  (SCDC to complete)

Certificate of Satisfaction (King Street & Owner to complete)

Contact Details

03450 450 051