£1 homes in Stoke get a bit of TLC in regeneration project
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing
Local residents who snapped up a home in Stoke for just £1 are to benefit from an extensive repair and maintenance programme.
The regeneration project was pioneered by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, offering people the opportunity to purchase one of the currently derelict homes for just a pound. Successful applicants must take out a £30,000 loan to improve the property, which is then paid back over 10 years.
Kier Stoke, which provides repairs and maintenance to more than 19,000 properties in Stoke-on-Trent, aims to hand over the first home in March and complete all the improvements by early June. It is carrying out £1m of internal and external renovations on 33 empty properties, all on the market for £1. The company has employed 20 local subcontractors to carry out the work.
Stoke residents Lawrence and Teresa Poxon have been provisionally approved to purchase a £1 house in Denbigh Street.
"For us, buying one of the £1 houses is about security, as there’s no way we would have been able to take out a mortgage," 46-year-old Teresa Poxon said. "Knowing that we will own our own home in 10 years’ time is an amazing feeling.”
More than 600 people applied for homes during the first two rounds, with 24 applicants successfully approved. The council is accepting applications for the other nine homes until May. Prospective owners need to be living or working in Stoke to be eligible, with the council extending the criteria to also include armed forces personnel who formerly lived in the area and those with a regular income but who no longer work.
Kier Stoke service manager Robert Burt said: "Kier is dedicated to working hard for the communities it serves and we are proud to be involved in this pioneering scheme."