The Nationwide Foundation is launching a new funding programme to bring long-term empty properties back into use as homes for people in housing need. £1 million will be awarded in the form of grants and social investments to not-for-profit organisations. Organisations can apply for between £100,000 and £175,000. The application period is open from 14th September until 1st November 2015.
This will be the second time the Nationwide Foundation has offered a funding programme to bring empty properties back into use, with the existing programme on track to create 63 homes. There are many organisations around the UK which have built up a wealth of experience in the last few years of how to carry out these renovations effectively and efficiently, as well offering wider community benefits, such as opportunities for local people to gain new skills and increase their employability. The Government’s Empty Homes Community Grants Programme closed in the spring of this year, meaning demand for funding for empty properties projects is high and much needed.
The Nationwide Foundation’s new programme will fund the following:
- costs of the refurbishment of long-term empty properties: these can be empty residential properties or commercial spaces and must have been empty for more than six months
- organisational core costs where these are directly required to bring the empty properties into use
- legal and other such costs associated with obtaining the empty properties (e.g. landlord negotiation and asset transfer)
- reasonable wider organisational costs as part of a full cost recovery approach
The Nationwide Foundation is particularly interested in projects which:
- are financially sustainable or which are working towards financial sustainability
- support the training and education of people in need, such as volunteering, apprenticeships or training schemes
- acquire property by asset transfer
- implement environmental and energy saving aspects into refurbishments to benefit future tenants
Applicants can apply for grant funding or a social investment or a combination of the two, depending on which is the most appropriate for the scheme. Organisations interested in applying should visit the Nationwide Foundation’s website to check the full criteria and access the online application.
Lorna Mackie, programme manager for the Nationwide Foundation says: “We are delighted to be launching a new empty properties funding programme. Our previous funding in this area has been very successful and is contributing to the creation of 63 homes for people in housing need. This time our fund is even bigger, and with the recent closure of the Government’s Empty Homes Community Grants Programme, we know that there are many organisations which have gathered lots of experience in bringing empty properties back into use and are now looking for funding.”