This week is Empty Homes Week – and Trafford Council is supporting the initiative by working hard to bring dilapidated properties back to life.
Empty Homes Week 2019 takes place from 23- 29 September and is a chance for local authorities, housing providers, community-led organisations and others to show how they are tackling the issue of empty homes.
Trafford Council is spearheading the initiative locally by offering the owners of empty properties an interest free loan of up to £10,000 to assist with any repairs that are needed to bring the house up to an acceptable living standard.
The Council was recently instrumental in transforming a long term empty property in Urmston into four flats with a communal kitchen and bathrooms for vulnerable women who are victims of domestic violence and homelessness.
The property is managed by Salix Living working in Partnership with the Council’s Housing Options Service Trafford (HOST) who identify and refer residents for the accommodation and provide the support needed to help them get their lives back on track. Without this accommodation it’s likely the residents would be in B&Bs which would be more costly to the Council.
Cllr James Wright, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration, said:
Trafford Council is doing everything in its powers to tackle the issue of empty homes. Homelessness is a major issue in the UK today so it is shocking to see homes around the UK empty. The renovation of the Urmston property is a fantastic example of what can be done. It has brought the property back to life and made rooms available to people on the Council’s housing waiting list. Using empty properties to reduce housing need is seen as a key strategy for the Council. The owner of the property took up the offer of the loan and the property was refurbished to a high standard. The property now generates rental income and the Council assistance has allowed a loss making property to be turned into a shared house which provides guaranteed rental income for the owner.”
Jonathan Drake, service director at Salix Living, said:
Salix Living exists to provide an alternative in the private sector, driving up standards and providing a roof over the head of those that need it most. In Salford, we’ve had great success working with private landlords to bring empty homes and buildings back into use as much needed-housing, so we’re very proud to see that model now being rolled out in Trafford."
Any owner of an empty property in Trafford is welcome to apply for the loan - please feel free to contact Richard Pollitt on 0161 912 1377 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. As part of the loan agreement the Council will assist with management of the property, provided suitable tenants and can also guarantee that rent will be paid each month to property owners.
Posted on Tuesday 24th September 2019