Grants v. loans

Grants can be useful in some cases where they do obtain other benefits such as nomination rights etc, in addition if the property is listed and the scheme does not stack up financially, then grant aid may be beneficial in such cases.
I wouldn't want to tie LA hands to say that they should only use loans, I think it should be left to them.
But there should be an emphasis on VFM and Loans are clearly more appropriate than grants in most instances.

Forums: 
EHN policy

I do agree with you but would like to clarify that Natrional Commitment, Local Action does not say that grants for any purpose are wrong - it is trying to highlight the fact that grants to make homes affordable, or grants to help secure nomnation rights are defensible in a way that grants purely for the owner  to bring an empty home into use may not be.  The first examples are more like a straight business transaction where the community gets something of value back - and maybe the owner sacrifices something like the amount of rent they get or their freedom to do what they want with the property. In the second case the owner hasn't sacrificed anything other than wasting their asset.  The document also does clearly say that for pragmatic reasons it may be useful to give grant fo encourage re-occupation.
The context is that there isn't much money around and currently, imho, there is not a lot of rhyme or reason to what level of incentive is given by local authorities - that's why a review is urgent and essential if we are to argue for a funding stream for capital for LA empty homes work.  The review will need to be clear about what is being "bought" by the grant - affordable housing? nominations? re-occupation?
Our document needs to be made clearer though, if it is being interpreted as saying that grants are not appropriate at all.  That is definitely not intended.

I have to say that I am opposed to grants. In nearly 20 years of empty property work, I can count on one hand the number of grants I have given to "genuine" cases, the rest have been given to professional landlords who would probably be able to afford the works anyway.
Hence, I would say loans are a better way to go as we don't lose the money.
Strategies that in the past have relied heavily on giving grants, are now struggling in the current financial climate.
Hence the need for a well rounded out strategy utilising all the tools.

Paul Palmer
Empty Homes UK Ltd / East Northamptonshire Council
07703403526