Loan deal brings empty Fife homes back into use

Bernard Adam, owner of Feuars Arms, Kirkcaldy, with Cllr Judy Hamilton and empty homes officer Joanne Saurin, outside the pub and the flat which will be converted.

Bernard Adam, owner of Feuars Arms, Kirkcaldy, with Cllr Judy Hamilton and empty homes officer Joanne Saurin, outside the pub and the flat which will be converted.

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Fife Council has approved its first loan as part of an initiative to encourage owners of empty properties to bring them up to lettable standard.

The ‘Empty Homes Loan Scheme’ is aimed at owners whose properties have been empty for a long time and require extensive repairs.

Bernard Adam, owner of Feuars Arms, Kirkcaldy, will use his loan to convert a large flat above the pub, which has been empty since 2007.

The property will be turned into two flats and will be available for private rent.

As part of the loan agreement, the rent charge on these properties will be lower than mid-market rent.

Mr Adam said: “I am delighted we have been successful with our application. These funds will help refurbish our property which has been empty for so long.

“I look forward to the work being completed and hope we will have new tenants soon after the properties are available for let.”

Councillor Judy Hamilton, executive member for housing, said: “I’d like to thank Mr Adam for stepping up and getting involved with this scheme.

“It’s great he can now move forward with the refurbishment of his property. It’s really good to see an empty property being brought back into use as a home for an individual or a family.

“The Council is keen to encourage empty home owners to bring their properties back into use, to increase the supply of housing in Fife and particularly to help tackle the shortage of affordable housing.

“I would encourage anyone with a privately owned home, which has been empty for six months or more to get in touch with the empty homes officer for advice and support.”

Fife Council has a limited number of interest free loans available to owners of long-term empty homes. For more deatils email emptyhomes@fife.gov.uk