New Homes Bonus - Practitioner Guide

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Purpose and Scope
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Purpose and Scope

This Practitioner Guide shows how New Homes Bonus operates as an incentive for local authorities to bring empty homes back into use.

Our experience of dealing with queries suggests that the way scheme works in relation to empty homes is not universally understood.  The Guide spends some time explaining mechanisms of the bonus such as how the amount of reward is calculated and what the criteria are for earning it.

We go on to makes recommendations about how the contribution of empty homes work can and should be enhanced. These recommendations are not just for empty homes practitioners but for managers and councillors.

Foreword by Cllr. Steve Ricketts, Plymouth City Council

Plymouth City Council is pleased to endorse this guide, which gives practical advice and detailed information to enable local authorities to maximise the receipt of New Homes Bonus.

It demonstrates how important it is for authorities take professional and responsible action to reduce the number of long term empty dwellings in their area.

Plymouth has always ensured its empty homes activity is robust; ensuring every measure possible is taken to get to the root of the problem in order to make maximum use of its existing housing stock.

The amount of New Homes Bonus is significant and this guide serves to enlighten authorities to the importance of having a structure in place to ensure due reward for their empty homes activity.

Steve Ricketts - signature

Cllr Steve Rickets
Cabinet Member for Transport & Housing Delivery
Plymouth City Council


We are grateful to Plymouth City Council and South West Councils for supporting the development of this Guide. 


The Empty Homes Network (“EHN”) is an unincorporated association run by and for empty homes practitioners.

EHN has taken reasonable steps to ensure that the information contained in this work is correct but neither EHN nor any identified individual author will be liable for any loss or damage arising directly or indirectly from the possession, publication, or use of or reliance on the contents of this work. Moreover this is a “Members-only” document for EHN Full Members and EHN accepts no responsibility for its use third parties

This work is furnished in good faith without express or implied warranty.  If the information or advice contained herein could have a material impact on your actions you must should seek appropriate professional advice.

Neither Plymouth City Council nor South West Councils are responsible in any way for the contents of this document.


Published by the Empty Homes Network, 2017

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You may not distribute, transmit, broadcast or disseminate it in whole or part to any other person or organisation without express authorisation from EHN.  Such authorisation may be sought by email to

Copyright © David Gibbens 2013, 2017

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David Gibbens
EHN (Policy and Support)
Empty Homes Network
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