At last night’s meeting of the Executive the Lead Member for Housing announced that a number of empty properties in the Borough, which are currently uninhabitable, will be refurbished and turned into homes for local tenants.
The Liberal Democrat councillor said: “The Executive will recall that some months ago we agreed in principle to the disposal of a number of uninhabitable council homes, where the renovation cost was high, to a Registered Social Landlord. The final terms were to be subject to endorsement by three members of the Executive.
“Over the last few months, the Registered Social Landlord has been seeking to access additional Social Housing Grant for the properties and to agree the terms of acquisition of the properties with its own funders. As is the case with many RSLs in current market conditions, these arrangements have not yet been completed.
“As a consequence, we have now agreed with the RSL not to proceed with the disposal and that the Council will go ahead and carry out the renovation works itself and retain ownership of the properties. This is now possible because of a slight improvement in the position of the Housing Capital programme, and the chance to use some funds from the recent Energy Efficiency grant, where this is appropriate, on these homes.
She added: “This means that the work required can be commissioned immediately and the properties brought back into use.”