A £100,000 cash carrot is being dangled in front of Angus property owners to bring empty homes up to scratch.
The area is thought to have around 1,200 of Scotland’s 47,000 long-term empty properties.
Housing chiefs say their return to use could help meet the area’s high demand for affordable housing.
Angus Council is launching the six-figure empty homes grant fund to encourage owners to upgrade properties.
Communities Convener, Councillor Mark Salmond said: “We are determined to increase the supply and availability of affordable housing for individual people and families in Angus.
“Building affordable homes is one way we can and do achieve this.
“But we must not ignore the 1,200 or so empty properties that, with our support, can provide vital housing for those in need of a home.
“An empty home can have a negative impact on a neighbourhood and so this is money well spent – not just in support of people and families, but for our communities too.”
Improvement grants of up to £7,500 per bedroom in empty homes
The fund launches on Monday and will award grants on a discretionary basis for property types where the council considers there is a demonstrable demand for housing, subject to availability.
Grant subsidy is capped at a maximum of £7,500 per bedroom and directed at necessary improvements to bring properties up to a standard that is fit for occupation.
On completion of the project, successful applicants must rent the property out as affordable housing for a minimum period of five years.”
Shaheena Din, national project manager of the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, said: “The reasons homes lie empty for long periods are often complex, for example owners who inherit properties without the means to renovate them to letting standard.
“This initiative will provide access to much-needed funds to bring properties back to habitable standards, meaning more available housing in Angus and the benefits to local communities and economy that result from the transformation of empty homes.”