£91m fund to refurbish housing

Published:  24 June, 2013

Communities minister Don Foster recently announced that £91m is to be spent in England to refurbish and bring back into use 6,000 empty and derelict houses and commercial premises.

The cash will be spent on refurbishment in areas where derelict empty properties have driven remaining residents away.

The funding is being allocated under two programmes. Some £61m is from the second round of the empty homes funding programme, £41m is allocated by the Homes and Communities Agency to registered social landlords, and the remaining money to community and voluntary groups.

The second £30m tranche is funding for 20 partnerships in areas of acute problems such as Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Middlesbrough, which will bring around 3,500 houses back into use.

The government said £33m of the empty homes programme funding will go to northern England and £11m to the Midlands. Greater Manchester is to receive nearly £8.5m of funding. Manchester will get the biggest share of the cash, with £3.24m, followed by Salford, with £2.52m.

Communities minister Don Foster said: “This will bring people, shops and jobs back to once-abandoned areas, and provide extra affordable homes we so badly need.”

The scheme will support 'sweat equity schemes’, where people buy empty properties for a nominal price in exchange for an undertaking to refurbish them.

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