A COUNCIL based in Gainsborough has already started work on its empty homes scourge – after winning nearly £600,000 from the Government.
West Lindsey District Council's £595,000 share of a £60m windfall for 20 local authorities will be spent on bringing vacant properties back into use.
Communities Minister Andrew Stunell announced the package, which will also see another £25m given to voluntary groups and charities to tackle clusters of empty homes.
"The number of empty homes in this country is a national disgrace – for every two families that need a home there is one standing empty," said Mr Stunell.
"Empty homes bring down a neighbourhood and attract vandals and fly-tipping, as well as being a waste of much needed housing."
West Lindsey District Council's bid was won after it set out to attract innovative groups to launch the scheme.
More than 30 different organisations have already attended an information event hosted by the authority at the Guildhall headquarters in Gainsborough.
Delegates looked at how the council can invest a significant amount of its capital funding to develop an enterprising and ambitious solution to address this issue.
West Lindsey District Council's head of strategic growth is Grant Lockett.
"The information event was a huge success and we are confident that it has stimulated some real interest from other organisations who are keen to work with us and tackle this issue," he said. "We fully understand the detrimental effect that empty homes can have on communities and this project demonstrates our commitment to dealing with them."
Interested parties have been asked to submit proposals by 4pm on Friday, June 8, outlining how they would address the issue of empty homes. It should also show how they intend to provide wider benefits such as community regeneration, skills, employment, training and renewable energies.
To find out more about the project visit www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/ emptyproperties or call (01427) 676676.