28 Nov 2012

GreenSquare announces empty homes initiative

GreenSquare, in partnership with Stroud District Council, has launched an empty homes initiative to bring unused properties back into use and increase the housing supply in the area. It coincides with this week’s National Empty Homes Week 2012.

At the present time, empty homes in England account for 3% of the total housing stock. This initiative will see GreenSquare repair a number of empty homes in the Stroud District Council area to bring them back to use, thanks to funding from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

Jamir Ali, Development Project Manager at GreenSquare, explained: “We will investigate and survey empty homes put forward by Stroud District Council to assess their condition and the likely level of repair costs. If the extent of works is fundable through this initiative, we will employ and supervise a contractor to carry out the repair works and pay all associated repair costs to make it fit for a tenant to move in.”

Councillor Mattie Ross, Executive Member for Housing for Stroud District Council, said: “As part of the initiative, subject to survey, we will carry out renovations and improvement works up to the value of £14,000. The property owner could then receive rent of between £200 and £250 per calendar month. The property would be rented to people on the council’s housing waiting list and professionally managed and maintained by a partner housing association – with guaranteed five-year income and the return of the property in good condition. It’s a hassle-free and cost-effective way to rent out a property.”

Councillor Dennis Andrewartha, Executive Member for Planning for Stroud District Council, added: “Empty homes brought back into use can contribute to the housing supply to meet local needs, help to tackle homelessness, prevent neighbourhood decline and regenerate areas. This initiative couldn’t come at a better time as empty homes are high on everyone’s agenda.”

As part of this year’s National Empty Homes Week, which runs from Sunday, 25 November until Sunday, 1 December, the charity Empty Homes will be publishing new statistics showing the current number of empty homes in England. It will be highlighting the waste of empty property nationwide and celebrating the success of numerous examples and new initiatives, such as this, which are helping to bring empty homes back into use.

For more information, please contact Jamir Ali, Development Project Manager at GreenSquare on 01793 602834 or email jamir.ali@greensquaregroup.com, or Susan Phelps, Stroud District Council Empty Homes Office on 01453 745449 or email susan.phelps@stroud.gov.uk.

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