Homesteading plan to save homes from demolition
A campaigning charity is hoping to demonstrate the effectiveness of a model for bringing empty homes back into use after receiving government funding.
Empty Homes will use £91,000 to help bring 10 homes in Stoke that had been scheduled for demolition back into use through a homesteading scheme.
David Ireland, chief executive of Empty Homes, said: ‘This is a terrace of homes that was going to be demolished [by the council] but they’re going to be transferred so a housing association owns 50 per cent and the other 50 per cent will be sold at a reduced amount for people to renovate.’
The money from the Communities and Local Government department will be used for essential external work, with the buyers of the properties funding the internal changes.
Mr Ireland said buyers must use the property as their sole home and must be able to support a mortgage.
‘This is as much about regeneration of that area as providing affordable housing,’ he said. ‘It will take it from an area which looks pretty much dead to somewhere where quite a lot is happening. It’s very good to get a new community into an area where the community had gone.’
He said he would like to see the scheme rolled out nationally, and is already in talks with two other councils who are interested in doing similar work.
Yesterday, communities minister Andrew Stunell announced 76 community projects which will receive a share of more than £25 million of funding for empty homes.
Empty Homes received the largest allocation of £3,091,000. The bulk of its allocation will be used to set up a scheme that lends money to private landlords at sub-market rates to allow them to bring homes back in to use.