Scheme to fill empty properties

David Sands and Katie Beard have the key to the door….and are the first tenants of a property brought back into use using Doncaster Council’s Empty Homes Grant Scheme.

David and Katie recently moved into their new home on Riviera Parade, Bentley, which will be managed by St Leger Homes of Doncaster, the company that manages homes for the council.

Landlord Gareth Everton tapped into Doncaster Council’s initiative to give grants to modernise private homes which have been empty for six months or more. The grant of around £5,000 was used to pay for electrical rewiring, water drainage and some minor repair jobs so that the home could be put on the home rental market.

The Empty Homes Grants Scheme is used to bring empty properties back into use. Once the improvements are completed the house is advertised for letting by St. Leger Homes who act as managing agent for five years in exchange for a weekly fee. Under the scheme, improvement works of up to £12,000 can be grant funded, and if the works cost more the property owner can pay the additional costs to access the grant.

Gareth said: “This initiative is a great idea for the likes of myself. I had tried to sell the house and it has been empty for 18 months. This initiative was a great way forward for me.”

Cllr Ray Mullis, Doncaster Council’s Cabinet member for Housing, said:”Bringing empty properties back into use is a top priority for Doncaster Council and I am delighted with this first success of our grants scheme.

“This is an excellent example of the authority working in partnership with St Leger Homes of Doncaster for the benefit of local people.”

Susan Jordan, chief executive of St Leger Homes of Doncaster, said: “This is a great way of increasing homes for rental in Doncaster. This is also the first home we have rented out for a private landlord, a service we are planning to expand.”

Anyone who owns a house in Doncaster that has been empty for six months or more and is interested in this scheme should contact Doncaster Council’s Empty Property Team for further details on (01302) 862031.