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MP: 'Slice of £100 million fund could help bring hundreds of empty homes back into use in the South Lakes'

January 25, 2012 12:42 PM

Locally,Tim has been working on projects to bring empty homes back into use such as a property on Mintsfeet Road in KendalLocal MP Tim Farron has called on the South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) and local community groups to put themselves forward for a slice of a new £100 million fund to bring empty homes back into use.

Communities and Local Government minister Andrew Stunell yesterday invited community and voluntary organisations to apply for a share of £100 million fund that will help bring the empty homes blighting their areas back into use.

Around 720,000 homes are sitting empty across the country - with 280,000 unused and under-maintained for six months or more. According to SLDC there are about 1,000 empty homes in South Lakeland. The council has a full time member of staff who deals with empty homes, they work with owners, developers and community groups to bring empty homes back into use. But more needs to be done to deal with the empty homes issue in our community.

Locally,Tim has been working on projects to bring empty homes back into use such as a property on Mintsfeet Road in Kendal and at the Ironworks in Backbarrow; and utilising brown field sites like the current Auction Mart site in Kendal which will be made redundant when the mart moves to Crooklands.

Tim has recently forced the government to look at ending the mandatory discount for second home owners after a long campaign.

Successful applications to the fund will have to:

• Bring empty homes back into use as affordable housing

• Deliver value for money for the taxpayer

• Expect to be completed by 31 March 2015

• Have support from their local authority

The Department of Communities and Local Government has appointed Tribal Group PLC to administer the fund. Guidance and the application form are available to download from their website at www.grantsadmin.co.uk

Tim said: "I hope that the local council and community groups put themselves forward to bring empty homes back into use in the South Lakes.. There is a chronic need for housing in our area. But we need the right kind of housing - social housing, truly affordable housing and homes for local families. I will continue to do all I can to push the council and others to do more for local families and I will continue to champion the need for truly affordable homes in areas that the local community supports. Much has been done but there is much, much more left to do."