Call For Another Empty Homes Community Grants Programme To Bring Empty Properties Back Into Use To Meet Housing Need
It’s Empty Homes Week and the Government have just announced an extra £1.4 billion to create additional 40,000 new homes, but there’s no funding to tackle the 200,000 plus existing long-term empty properties, capable of providing much needed accommodation.
“Between 2012-15 the government financed a successful £50m Empty Homes Community Grants Programme( EHCGP) which created 1,500 homes from empty properties. ” said Jon Fitzmaurice OBE Director of Self Help Housing. Org. “Around 100 community based organisations were able to access funding to provide affordable rented accommodation for people in housing need, while at the same time often offering training and employment to local people and contributing to street level regeneration. Furthermore, they collectively raised at least another £26m in loans & grants to supplement the £50m Programme”
“The EHCGP was a game changer for us” said James Hartley, Director of Latch in Leeds.” it enabled us to move from 13 to 34 properties in ownership and has given us a reliable long term rental stream, making us far more financially stable. Plus, we refurbished properties to a really good standard and were able to provide more for training out-of-work volunteers, three of whom have gone on to become self-employed”
Community Campus in Stockton were also able to provide more housing their client group of young people. “The EHCGP enabled us to purchase 22 properties in Teesside ” said Carl Ditchburn, Director of Community Campus “ and we now own 66. Overall, the Programme enabled Campus to extend the training and support we provide for vulnerable young people and to extend our work with other small local community housing organisations”
“For less than 5% of the additional funding that has been announced, there could be another Community Grants Programme which would not only provide housing, but which would also result in a range of valuable social outcomes” said Jon Fitzmaurice.” we surveyed organisations in receipt of funding when the last programme came to an end and identified demand for a further £52m programme, we’re calling on the Government to step forward and put in place another Community Grants Programme”.
Read About What’s Happening Around The Country @ Empty Homes here