Empty properties brought back to life with City West makeover
Published by Bobbie H for City West Housing Trust in Housing and also in Communities, Environment, Local Government
L-R: Richard Marks (Property Management Officer, City West Housing Trust), customer Samantha Eaves and David Wright (Assistant Director of Commerce, City West Housing Trust)
A Salford housing association and Salford City Council are carrying out a dramatic makeover of rundown homes as part of a joint scheme to bring much-needed empty properties back into use.
City West Housing Trust, which owns and manages 14,600 homes across Salford, will take on the management of up to 110 privately-owned apartments, terraces and houses.
The Lease and Repair scheme has been made possible through a £1.9 million grant from the Homes and Communities Agency to tackle the blight associated with long-standing empty properties.
The scheme sees City West provide a property management service to privately-owned properties which have sat empty for six months or more.
As part of the deal the property owner will receive a grant from the Council to renovate the homes and will then lease them back to City West for five years, making them available to those on housing waiting lists or living in poor conditions.
Further work is underway on the next properties in the Liverpool Road area between Eccles and Cadishead – with further residents set to start moving into new homes over the coming months.
New City West customer Samantha Reeves has already welcomed the opportunity to move into the first property to be transformed by the scheme in Peel Green.
The mother-of-two works in a nearby call centre and said she decided to look for a new home because the repair work at her previous privately-rented property wasn’t getting done.
“I couldn’t wait to move in,” she said. “I’m looking forward to enjoying a home as it should be, a home that’s up to a good standard. It’s near to my family and it’s easier to get to work from here.”
Salford City Council’s Head of Urban Renewal, John Wooderson, said: “With the social housing waiting list in Salford now topping 12,000, the lease and repair programme is a timely and innovative way of bringing empty properties back into use.
“It complements the Council’s wider work on this issue that has seen the number of empty homes in Salford fall by 2,500 over the last three years.”
David Wright, Assistant Director of Commerce at City West, said: “We’re pleased to be working with Salford City Council on this scheme, bringing properties that were becoming a blight on local neighbourhoods back into use.
“The transformation really is incredible and I’m delighted to see our first completed family home under the scheme.
“There is a great need for affordable good quality homes in Salford and this is just one of the projects we are involved in that aims to make a real difference to those in housing need and communities affected by empty homes.”
For more information on the availability of grant funding please contact Salford City Council’s Empty Property Team on 0161 793 3350 or visit http://www.salford.gov.uk/financialassistance.htm