A pioneering scheme which is set to bring dozens of empty homes back into use across North East Derbyshire has been extended for 12 months, due to its success in reducing the number of vacant properties.
In January 2019, North East Derbyshire District Council became the first council in the country to take part in the Empty Property Scheme in partnership with energy company E.ON.
The council was approached by E.ON, due to our commitment in tackling empty properties.
Originally set to pilot for one year, the scheme has now been extended for a further 12 months, due its success in reducing the number of empty properties in the District.
Cllr Richard Welton, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “The scheme is an excellent example of how the public and private sector can work together, at a time when it is vital for local authorities to maximise their income, to continue to provide essential public services.
“NEDDC is taking the lead in developing innovative solutions to empty properties which are a blight on the local community. These homes also provide much needed housing for our residents.”
Since the scheme launched, 25 long term empty properties have been – or are in the process of – being brought back into use.
There are approximately 400 empty properties in the District at any one time and at a time where there is a shortage of housing, the Council is keen to help owners bring them back into use.
NEDDC and E.ON have worked together in partnership to shape the Empty Property Scheme.
Nigel Dewbery, Director of Energy Efficiency at E.ON, said: “We’re really pleased to have extended the scheme for another twelve months and to be able to continue to work together with North East Derbyshire District Council to tackle the problem of empty properties.
“At E.ON we offer a range of energy solutions to meet our customers’ needs to ensure homes can be as energy efficient as possible and this is an example of us looking at how we can provide a more holistic approach to supporting wider communities. We hope to be able to offer this solution to other local authorities across the country.”
Services offered by E.ON as part of the scheme, include:
- Free one-to-one support and advice.
- A free property survey carried out by a professional from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
- Property cleaning and clearance.
- Probate services.
- Free EPC (Energy Performance Certificate).
- Flexible payment terms with no interest or charges.
- Fully project managed renovation.
- Discounted estate and letting agent rates.
The initiative has received widespread praise from a number of organisations, including other local authorities and the Empty Homes Network, who invited the Council and E.ON to talk at their National Empty Property Conference about the scheme.
This conference was held earlier this year and the trial was highly commended.
4 December 2019