Somerset

Mendip District Council launches empty homes strategy

The local authority in the Mendips has launched a scheme to reduce the number of houses lying empty in the area.

Empty Homes Agency statistics show there were 1,441 empty homes across Mendip in 2011, of which 445 had been empty for at least six months.

Mendip District Council said it would work with homeowners to bring empty properties back into use.

Options include offering interest-free loans to improve the standard of empty houses in exchange for a lease.

Mendip District Council hopes the three-year strategy will tackle homelessness and help vulnerable people secure long-term accommodation within the local area.

A council spokesman said: "There are far too many properties standing empty in Mendip, properties which, if they became available to buy or rent, could transform the lives of individuals and families desperately looking for a decent and affordable home."

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