National Empty Homes Week
Empty Homes Week is all about community-led organisations, local authorities and other interested bodies holding events and putting out information to celebrate their achievements in bringing empty homes back into use.
NUE are pleased to welcome Helen Williams, Chief Executive of Empty Homes to Kent to showcase our recent projects, which will also be featured on this site this week.
Now heading towards a 12th Year (2017), No Use Empty (NUE) continues to play a key role in returning long term empty properties back into and actively promoting the case for making the most of empty properties to meet housing needs.
Steve Grimshaw, Programme Manager presented NUE at the annual Scottish Empty Homes Conference Sharing Successes and Filling the Gaps.
NUE have also contributed to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Housing and Planning debates (formed July). This coalition of MPs and Peers from across the political parties has one main ambition: to support the delivery of more good quality homes across the UK.
The UK faces a severe housing crisis. Tackling it requires pro-active and coordinated thinking that cuts across political and professional divisions, and develops holistic and workable solutions.
NUE offers part of the solution in the form of short term secured loans to assist with bringing long term empty properties back into use.
We have already added the conversion of long term empty commercial and industrial properties to residential homes, as well as an affordable housing partnership to our repertoire.
Furthermore, we have established a closer partnership with Shepway District Council to introduce the No Use Empty Plus top up loan fund. Shepway have provided an extra £800,000 to the fund and we anticipate extending this arrangement during 2017/18.
Since its inception in 2005, NUE has grown to incorporate all 12 district councils and four West of England Councils including Bristol City Council as well as providing a template for the Welsh Government’s empty homes schemes “Houses Into Homes”.
NUE Looking Ahead
We already have a growing list of potential projects for 2017 following another demanding year for loans.
We have an ambition to achieve 5,000 empty properties back into use by March 2017.
We will continue to work with our partners and seek out opportunities to bring long term empty properties back into use as residential accommodation.