Empty homes scheme opens its doors in South Bank

An innovative scheme to bring some of South Bank's empty homes back into use, and improve the quality of affordable rental accommodation, has recently completed its first properties.

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14 Feb 2022

Alongside Redcar and Cleveland Council, Thirteen is supporting the local charity South Bank Community Land Trust to deliver the 'Empty Homes' scheme to unlock the potential of empty homes across South Bank, supporting the regeneration and sustainability of the area.

With funding from the Council, and Homes England, the scheme is part of a partnership approach and ongoing commitment to return empty properties into use as homes in South Bank and minimise the time they stand empty to drive up standards of accommodation in the area's rental sector.

South Bank Community Land Trust purchased five properties to renovate. Two properties, one on King Street and the other on Hampden Street, have already been completed by Vision Building Services and handed over to Thirteen to manage on behalf of the South Bank Community Land Trust. Refurbishment work included new doors, windows, kitchens, central heating, roofing, bathrooms, painting and decorating. A third property is nearing completion, and Community Campus will shortly start refurbishment work on the final two.

David Murray, Thirteen's regeneration empty homes co-ordinator, said: "It's great to be working with those involved to bring long-term empty properties back into use, creating much-needed homes for those who need housing whilst at the same time regenerating neighbourhoods.

"Plus, it's not only helping to tackle the problem of empty properties, but it's making something of a dent in the current housing shortage too."

Michael Janes, from South Bank Community Land Trust, said: "Local people have been saying for ages that what we need in South Bank is more good quality affordable housing.

“The South Bank Community Land Trust are delighted that after five years hard work, we have completed the refurbishment of our first two houses with more to come.

“Our aim is to provide great homes for local people and to help build our community, and this is the best possible start.

“We could not have done it without the support of CLT members, residents and volunteers and our partners Thirteen Housing Group and Redcar and Cleveland Council.  It’s a great team effort and I look forward to even more success in the future."

Leader of the Council, Cllr Mary Lanigan added: “Redcar and Cleveland Council have been keen to support the funding for the Empty Homes scheme which will contribute significantly to the regeneration of South Bank.

“Most importantly, this scheme will create affordable accommodation opportunities of good quality for the residents.

“It’s fantastic to see progress being made with two properties already being completed and we are looking forward to seeing how this project will improve the area and the residents’ lives.”

Please visit https://www.southbankclt.org/ to find out more.