Kent County Council (KCC) launched the No Use Empty (NUE) initiative in 2005 as part of its second round PSA2 commitments to examine better ways of delivering services, and particularly at working more effectively with district councils.
The primary aim of the Initiative is to improve the physical urban environment in Kent by bringing long-term empty properties back into use as quality housing accommodation.
Initial focus on the Urban coastal areas of East Kent (Districts: Dover, Thanet, Folkestone & Hythe, and Swale). Following the success of NUE in East Kent, the initiative was rolled out across Kent in 2008/09.
Delivered by KCC in partnership with all 12 district councils NUE provides an exemplar model which can be replicated. Firmly established as the longest running and most effective empty property initiative in the country winning several awards including UK Housing Award for Regeneration (May 2018).
Planning, dedicating resources, monitoring outcomes, adjusting delivery models to reflect current market conditions, providing financial assistance to owners by offering secured short-term loans with repayments recycled for new loans and above all continuity are the ingredients to the success of NUE.
· 5,911 empty properties brought back into use (2005 to March 2019)
· £27m recycled loans awarded
· £29m leverage from public/private sectors
· Turned 276 empty properties into 972 new homes
· Created 696 new council tax receipts worth £700k per year
· Contributed to New Homes Bonus
NUE welcomes the opportunity to provide Growth, Environment Development and Communities Cabinet Committee (GEDCC) with an update on the initiative, its future plans, gain GEDCC support for its continuation including satisfaction with the approval of delegation of authority in place as well as support to seek opportunities for unlocking further funding which will contribute to and help accelerate the delivery of good quality housing in the County.
The report to Cabinet Committee provided an update of an existing initiative and sought support for its continuation as identified in the Budget Book approved on 14 February 2019 and to re-affirm delegation of authority.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Affects more than two Electoral Divisions;
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Division affected: (All Division);
Notice of proposed decision first published: 07/06/2019
Decision due: Not before 6th Jul 2019 by Leader and Cabinet Member for Health Reform
Reason: In order that the proposed decision can be publsihed for a minimum of 28 days, in accordance with statutory requirements
Lead member: Leader and Cabinet Member for Health Reform
Lead director: David Smith
Contact: Steve Grimshaw, Strategic Programme Manager 0300417084 Email: email@example.com.
The decision was considered and endorsed at the Growth, Economic and Development Cabinet Committee on 26th June 2019.
Financial implications: £8.4m Capital for recycled loans (Budget Book 2019-20 Page 68, projects 5 and 6). £150k Revenue (Budget Book 2019-20 Page 48, line ref 70) – note that the allocation for NUE is within the overall £2.4m identified for Economic Development.
Equalities implications: The EqIA for NUE was undertaken and signed off May 2017 (agreed with KCC Equality Team)