In a bid to reduce the number of empty properties in the borough, Hertsmere Borough Council is offering interest-free loans for homeowners wishing to sell or rent their empty properties.

Letters have been sent to empty properties across the borough as the council tries to solve the continue problem of homes lying empty.

As of the end of August, there were 135 Hertsmere households living in temporary accommodation with 555 applicants on the housing register.

The council's latest scheme is part of the council’s Empty Homes Strategy (2018-2022) which uses a range of financial products, negotiations and enforcement to generate a robust turnaround in the empty property market.

Cllr Jean Heywood, responsible for housing, said: "We are determined to ensure our housing supply works to support the needs of all our residents.

"One of the ways we can do this is by offering financial incentives to home owners with empty properties. Interest-free loans of up to £25,000 are on offer. We can also use enforcement to help turnaround these properties and prevent them from sitting around empty.

"Creating homes from empty properties makes environmental sense too, by ensuring we utilise existing buildings and minimise the amount of land used for development."

The loans offered are subject to the home being in a poor condition and the home has to be sold after the renovations and we encourage them to rent through Hertsmere Borough Council.

Nationally, there are 216,000 homes in England that have been vacant for over six months.

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