Over 260 empty homes in district

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MORE than 260 homes in South Holland have been left empty for more than six months by their owners despite growing demands on housing.

In the past year, South Holland District Council has been involved in a scheme encouraging owners of vacant properties to take advantage of a number of schemes to bring them back into use.

Although some have used the incentives, it is hoped more will come forward and help those in need of housing.

The plea follows a hugely successful national campaign to encourage more than 100,000 people to sign a petition to force a debate in the House of Commons about the empty homes problem.

Last week Channel Four screened a series of programmes about the Great British Property Scandal which showed that more than two million families are currently on social housing waiting lists, while more than one million properties lie empty.

In South Holland, the Empty Homes Equity Release Loan scheme offers owners funds to bring homes back into use which only become repayable when the property is sold or ownership is transferred.

Malcolm Chandler, portfolio holder for private sector housing, said: “It is a pity so many homes lie empty when there are people in need of housings and owners are encouraged to contact us to see if they are eligible for the loan scheme or if there is any other way the council can support them in bring the home back into use.”