Braintree: Bid to bring empty homes back into use

A NEW scheme to bring empty homes back into use has been launched.

The “Empty Homes Rescue” project is a joint partnership between Braintree District Council and Colne Housing.

The authorities want want to hear from owners or residents who live next to empty two, three and four- bedroom properties.

In addition to tackling homelessness, the initiative will also guarantee a monthly income to property owners.

Lady Patricia Newton, cabinet member for prosperity, said: “It’s thanks to the full support of Colne Housing Society that we have been able to develop this unique housing rescue package. In return for our investment, we can make sure that more families are given the chance to benefit from good, local accommodation, which will in turn create healthier, happier communities.

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“This is an important piece of work in which the district council will be instrumental in helping people at risk of homelessness find a decent home to live in.” The scheme, which is being rolled out in Halstead and Witham, is being funded by a central Government grant of �100,000 which is being matched by the council.

Mark Powell Davies, chief executive of Colne Housing, said: “Empty homes are an expensive asset for the owners – demanding constant attention and financial outlay.

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“With this package, owners can get stress-free access to a monthly income, see improvements to their property where needed and know that they are contributing to a better local area. We’d urge home owners to get in touch with the council if they have an empty property that they would like to see returned to use as a family home.”

If an empty home is in poor condition, the partnership will assess the works needed to bring it up to a decent standard. Local contractors will be appointed to undertake the work, where possible, to an average cost of �20,000.

Leases are run on a five year basis. For more information, contact Empty Homes Rescue at Braintree District Council on 01376 557757, email or visit

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