Owners of empty homes in Kent are being targeted by a new initiative which, if taken up by other councils, could help to bring thousands of derelict properties back into use.
Kent County Council last week launched a £5m fund which will provide interest-free loans to landlords, developers and owners to cover the cost of renovation and refurbishment of about 9,000 empty properties in the east of the county.
One of the main stumbling blocks for owners of empty homes is often a lack of funds with which to renovate a property and bring it back into use. So the county is working with councils in Dover, Shepway, Swale and Thanet to offer any owner of an empty property - or anyone considering buying one - interest-free loans for renovation or refurbishment of to £25,000 per single dwelling.
As much as £175,000 could be available for properties that could be converted into more than one flat. The property in question has to have been empty for at least six months, and owners taking out loans now must bring it back into residential use by March 2008.
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