Cash boost for derelict homes

Repaired empty homes will be used as affordable housing. Below: Coun Roger Berry.
Repaired empty homes will be used as affordable housing. Below: Coun Roger Berry.

Crumbling and derelict homes across Wyre are to be repaired and used as affordable housing after a town hall scheme was given a major funding boost.

Wyre Council’s Empty Homes Strategy has received £100,000 to purchase and renovate eyesore homes blighting neighbourhoods across the borough.

Coun Roger Berry

Coun Roger Berry

The authority will work alongside Regenda – its social housing provider – to carry out essential work on the properties and have them fit to live in by the end of March 2015.

Since the scheme was set up last year, community leaders have already purchased seven homes as part of the bid to clean up rundown properties .

Coun Roger Berry, portfolio holder for neighbourhood services at Wyre Council, said: “It’s a good initiative where we can increase the housing stock.

“These are empty homes and we want to get them for those who are on the housing waiting list.

“The big thing is it will improve the quality of the neighbourhood because neighbours have been complaining about improving them and carrying out the necessary repairs.”

It has not yet been decided which homes will be repaired with the cash, but a list of possible properties, drawn up by Regenda, is expected to be publicly revealed in the coming weeks.

Coun Berry added: “It will improve houses which have been empty over a long period of time and improve the neighbourhood.”

The money was given to the authority after an announcement by Don Foster MP, the communities minister, who named Wyre as the only North West authority to win money.

Howard Phillips, vice chairman of Thornton Action Group, has backed the scheme, and previously spoken about how it can help Wyre. He said: “It will help considerably because empty homes do become a nuisance.

“They could have squatters in them, and in any case, it looks dilapidated and an eye sore and it’s not very good for the people next door to them.”

New homes are ‘much needed’

Martin Davies, director of development at Regenda, said: “Thanks to funding from the Homes and Communities Agency we will be able to provide four much needed affordable rented homes in the Wyre Borough area, by tackling the problem of empty homes and providing good quality accommodation for local families.

“This is in addition to seven properties that are already being restored and brought back into use in Fleetwood.

“Two of these homes were restored by March 2013, with the further five properties to be completed by the end of March 2014.

“Derelict and neglected buildings are an eyesore for the local community.

“Revitalising these properties will provide much needed local homes in areas of high demand which, at the same time, will have a positive impact on the surrounding areas.”

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