Housing in Birmingham is set for a £4.3 million boost, with an innovative new scheme to bring 190 empty homes back into use as affordable housing.
Birmingham City Council has been awarded £3.22 million from the ‘Empty Homes programme’ and will provide a further £1.14 million to boost the programme and bring the homes back into use by April 2015.
A report to Cabinet next Monday (30 July) outlines an innovative scheme whereby owners of properties that have been empty for more than six months will be invited to lease their homes to the Council for up to ten years. In return, they will have their property repaired and maintained until the lease expires.
Owners, who often struggle to meet the cost of repairs, will also receive a monthly income from the City Council, which will depend on the cost of the refurbishment required.
The properties will be let to families on the City Council’s housing waiting list who may be at risk of homelessness or living in overcrowded conditions. Many will have experienced a long wait for housing.
Tenants will pay their rent and have their home maintained by the City Council during their tenancy. In addition they will receive a full range of local housing services.
Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Steve Bedser, said: “This is excellent news for the city at a time when there is a severe shortage of affordable housing. Owners of empty homes from across the city can apply and local neighbourhoods will benefit from a boost in investment.”
The Council’s successful Empty Property team will be managing the scheme and can be contacted on 0121 303 7978 or by E Mail on firstname.lastname@example.org
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