Gravesham Borough Council – “Empty property scheme hailed a success”
Edwin Street, Gravesend
A GRAVESHAM property is proving to be another success story of Kent County Council’s No Use Empty (NUE) Scheme.
NUE loaned property owner Mrs Devinder Dhami £25k to get her four-bedroom, privately-owned empty property in Edwin Street refurbished and rented out.
It’s taken just over three months to complete the refurbishment, which has included roof works, damp proofing, a new kitchen and bathroom, new radiators, new boiler, re-rendering, plastering, painting and re-carpeting.
The council had written to the owner to request an update on her plans to return the property to use, as it had been empty for more the six months. Mrs Dhami and her 36-year-old son Andy were keen to take advantage of the interest-free loan which was offered through the NUE scheme to the owners of privately owned dwellings.
Andy who project managed the works said: “It’s been brilliant and without this loan none of this would have been possible. Working with Gravesham council and Kent County Council has been great and the process has been really easy. Both have gone above and beyond to help me get the property to how it is now.”
The plan is to now let the mid-terrace property out and find a tenant.
Back in April Gravesham Borough Council was confirmed as the best performing authority in Kent for the lowest number of empty properties.
There are now currently 680 empty properties in Gravesham (November 2015) with just 193 of these being recorded as long-term empty. This means they have been empty for six months or longer.
The overall figure of 680 represents the lowest number of vacant properties in Kent.
Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Anthony Pritchard, said: “We’ve been really proactive and this house in Edwin Street is a great example of what can be done if you take up the option of a loan. The loan scheme is integral to our service offering and forms part of our general discussion with owners who site the lack of finance as a reason why their property remains empty.”