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Tim welcomes incentives to bring back empty homes for local use

January 12, 2011 9:36 AM

Tim Farron MP with SLDC Empty Homes Officer Lynne GilbertsonSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed Monday's government announcement that will enable empty homes in our area to be brought back into use for local families.

Last year, Tim launched a campaign with the Lib Dem-run South Lakeland District Council which aims to bring some of the 1,000 empty properties in the South Lakes back in to use. Pressure from Tim has now led to these new Government proposals which will offer incentives for councils to turn empty houses into local homes.

The New Homes Bonus announced today means that any council tax raised from a property that previously stood empty will be matched by Government - providing vital funds that will help councils provide more homes. This is on top of the £100 million investment in a fund for Housing Associations to help them to commandeer or purchase empty properties to help local communities.

Tim is encouraging local people to come forward with examples of empty homes so that the local council can use their new powers and funding to make a difference.

Tim commented; "The fact that the government will match the council tax for every empty property brought back into use, is a powerful incentive for councils to get empty homes lived in again. And, with 1,000 empty homes in the South Lakes, I am hopeful that our area will benefit from these proposals. It's great to see that our local campaign has got national backing.

"Empty homes are often an eyesore in a neighbourhood and are such a waste when there are so many local people in need of local homes. The proposals are certainly a great start but, as always, there is still more to be done. If you know of any empty homes in your area please do contact me by either ringing my office on 01539 723403 or emailing me at tim@timfarron.co.uk."