About No Use Empty

The award winning No Use Empty (NUE) initiative, established in 2005, is the longest running empty property initiative in the UK, delivered in partnership by Kent County Council working with all 12 district councils and aims to substantially increase the numbers of long term empty homes returned to use as quality housing through a range of interventions including financial assistance to owners

2013/14 was a record breaking year for NUE: 42 loans awarded, allowing works to start on 146 units, NUE providing £2.7m financial support levering in £5.9m from publlc/private sectors. During the year 611 empty properties were brought back into use across the County.

Since its inception, the total number of long term empty properties in Kent has reduced from 9,000 to 5,847. NUE has awarded £11m of secured short term (3 years) interest free loans levering in £16m from the public/private sectors. Kent has also received £5.4m in New Homes Bonus which is attributed to the net reduction in long term empty homes over the last 4 years.

Average renovation costs to return a unit to occupation are £43,000, average KCC investment being £19,200. For every £1 spent on administering the initiative, this translates to £20 being spent in the local economy.

£5m (45%) of funding advanced has been  repaid and recycled. The initiative has also helped to create/safeguard over 600 jobs.

The £1.8m Affordable Homes Project (launched 2013) has focused on the conversion of larger commercial buildings with a regenerative impact locally. Developers can apply for a secured interest free loan over five years, working with AmicusHorizon, who let the homes, provide property management and guarantee rental income.

The first project in Shepway completed in May 2014 delivering 7 units, with 8 more projects across the County returning 38 more units, due for completion by March 2015.

NUE won the Partnership working category in the national  Placemaking Awards (2014) in association with Regeneration and Renewal. NUE continues to support the existing work carried out by the local councils to tackle the problems associated with empty properties, giving housing officers access to a wider group of resources, skills and experiences and engaging in a joined-up approach with Kent County Council and bordering districts to achieve improved results in returning properties back into use.

 

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In November 2010, No Use Empty brought together property owners, housing experts and local authorities to mark five years of success, share best practice and boost participation across the County. The initiative welcomed empty housing experts from around the country to discuss empty housing issues and the impact of the Government’s allocation of £100million for bringing empty homes into use as part of the national Affordable Housing Programme 2011-15.

David Ireland, Chief Executive of Empty Homes, was a guest speaker at the event. He said; “The subject of empty homes affects real lives and real communities. Across the UK, the number of long term empty properties is rising. However, in Kent, the number of empty homes has actually fallen in recent years and this is the only place that has happened, thanks to the No Use Empty initiative. Similar ideals are now being taken on across the country to emulate Kent’s practices and successes.”

Other representatives at the event included Kevin Lynes, KCC Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Gera Drymer, Policy Manager, Homes and Communities Agency, Ian Fletcher Director of Policy, British Property Federation, Steve Grimshaw, Regeneration Project Manager, Kent County Council and Andrew Lavender, Project Consultant and Brian Horton, KCC Strategic Housing Advisor.

A Selection of the Presentations in PDF format. Please scroll over the images below.

  Brian Horton

 

 Gera Drymer

 Steve Grimshaw

 Martin Neame

 Andrew Lavender

Brian Horton

KCC - Strategic Housing Advisor

Gera Drymer

HCA -

Policy Manager

Steve Grimshaw

KCC - Project Manager

Martin

Neame

Property Developer

Andrew Lavender

Project Consultant

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