Funding secured for empty home loans in East Ayrshire



Interest free loans are now available to homeowners with a property that has been empty for more than six months, East Ayrshire Council has announced.

Scottish Government funding was secured by the council to tackle empty homes in East Ayrshire and bring them back to life. Homeowners can apply to the council for a maximum loan of £10,000 that will help bring their property to a lettable standard. Once renovated, the property must then be let at a market rent for up to five years or sold at an affordable level.

Councillor Elena Whitham, cabinet member for housing and communities, said: “Empty homes can be costly and the longer they are empty, the harder it can be to bring them back into use. Evidence shows that the average empty homeowner in Scotland is losing around £7370 each year, through costs like council tax, insurance and security.

“The council has an empty homes officer, Liz King, who can provide guidance and advice to homeowners on funding available to them and on everyday issues like energy efficiency and energy advice, selling options, private renting, the council’s Matchmaker Scheme which matches potential purchasers to properties and any VAT discounts that may be available. The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership has also agreed services and discounts from a number of national Builder’s Merchants and Liz can provide further information on discounts and support available.

“There are many and varied reasons for properties being left empty but we are committed to working with homeowners to tackle this problem in East Ayrshire. In the last year alone, Liz has helped to bring 21 properties back into use and is working on almost a hundred cases, seeking ways to help homeowners realise the financial potential of their property.”



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