Increasing the availability of homes in Elmbridge
Empty Homes Strategy 2023 – 2027
On 15 March, Elmbridge Cabinet approved an Empty Homes Strategy 2023 – 2027, setting out our plans to increase the availability of homes within the borough by reducing the number of long-term empty properties.
The demand and need for housing across Elmbridge remain strong with over 2,000 households on our housing register seeking an affordable rented home and almost 100 households in temporary accommodation. (November 2022)
Sitting alongside our Housing, Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy and the emerging local plan, the draft Empty Homes Strategy ultimately aims to provide suitable homes for our community.
With approximately 520 dwellings in the borough empty for at least six months, there is potential to bring these homes back in to use and our draft Empty Homes Strategy sets out the financial support* we could offer, including:
- An increase of £2,000 to the existing empty home grant, resulting in an increase from £5,000 to £7,000.
- A new empty property combined grant and loan product of £7,000.
- A new cash incentive offering £4,000 in return for a 12-month assured shorthold tenancy (AST) at the local housing allowance (LHA) rates and a nomination to the property. A further £1,000 would be granted if the landlord maintains the tenancy for a further 12 months at the relevant local housing allowance rate.
*Terms and conditions will apply to all funding.
We are committed to a thriving Elmbridge and we are taking action to reduce the number of empty homes in the area through a proactive approach in supporting owners to help return their empty properties back into use or to redevelop them. A coordinated and sustainable approach can deliver an increase in housing supply, improve housing standards, and reduce the number of empty homes.
Cllr Neil Houston
Portfolio Holder for Housing