Empty properties will be brought back into use.

A Barnet Borough Council initiative aims to ease the pressure on housing in Barnet, by offering money to allow landlords and owners of dilapidated property to fix up their premises.

In exchange for the financial aid, the Empty Properties Grant requires those who apply for it to rent out the property to people in housing need for five years.

The scheme, which replaces the Empty Property Financial Assistance Loan Scheme, aims to help people in need of housing to move out from temporary and emergency accommodation.

It is hoped that some of the estimated 2,000 empty Barnet properties will be filled as a result.

Housing remains a big issue in the borough. Figures compiled by Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity, show that 981 households were on council housing waiting lists in the borough in 2013.

They also found that in the first quarter of 2014, 1,820 households with dependent children were in temporary accommodation, and 149 households were accepted as homeless.

Hale Councillor Tom Davey, who is Chairman of the Housing Committee, said: “Bringing empty properties back into use is not only excellent value for the taxpayer but removes local eyesores for our residents. We know there is a huge demand for accommodation in the borough and if we can succeed in helping people get out of costly nightly accommodation and into properties which had previously fallen in disrepair it has got to be a win win situation.”