Essex

Owners of empty homes in Essex offered renovation cash

A scheme to encourage owners to renovate their empty properties in Essex is now offering up to £35,000.

Basildon Council and Pathmeads Housing Association are offering the money on a 50% grant to 50% loan basis.

Owners must agree to lease the property for five years.

Basildon Council's cabinet member for housing, Frank Tomlin, said: "This is an improved offer to attract more interest from property owners."

The aim is to bring more homes into use to provide accommodation for people in need.

"This is an innovative scheme which could help improve neighbourhoods by reducing the numbers of empty homes.

"It could also give the owner a financial incentive."

The scheme was introduced in October 2009.

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