The latest empty home brought back to use in South Bank

An innovative scheme to bring empty and void homes back into use has completed another refurbishment in South Bank.

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15 Dec 2022

Thirteen has worked in partnership with South Bank Community Land Trust to unlock the potential of empty homes across the town, supporting the regeneration and sustainability of the area.

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

South Bank Community Land Trust initially purchased five properties to renovate. The first three properties were completed last year and handed over to Thirteen to manage on behalf of the South Bank Community Land Trust.

The final two properties have been refurbished by Community Campus. Refurbishment work included new doors, windows, kitchens, central heating, roofing, bathrooms, painting and decorating. People who were unemployed or struggling to gain skills in the construction industry have also been offered places to train with mentors to refurbish the empty homes.

David Murray, Thirteen's regeneration project lead, said:

"It's been great working alongside partners to deliver this fantastic scheme which is supporting the community to provide affordable housing by bringing long-term empty properties back to use.

"It's helping make a dent in the current housing shortage and creating great training and work opportunities for local people to equip them for future employment."

Sue Jeffrey, a director at South Bank Community Land Trust, said:

"We are delighted that work has been completed to all five of our empty houses, transforming them into great homes for local people. Huge thanks go to our partners, Thirteen and Redcar & Cleveland Council, for being prepared to back our plans and help get us to this point.

"But this is not the end. These homes will now provide a steady income to the Community Land Trust so we can do more in the local community. We already have an eco shop, which provides low-cost groceries. We hope to expand our work with new projects that will benefit everyone in South Bank in these really difficult times."

Cllr Chris Gallacher, cabinet member for economic growth at Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, added:

"Community-led housing provides an opportunity for local people to play a leading and lasting role in solving local housing problems. The Council has been a long-term supporter of the South Bank Community Land Trust, which is demonstrated by the fact that we identified £110,000 from our affordable housing contributions to enable the purchase of these properties.

"We are delighted that all five properties have now been fully refurbished and are providing high-quality new homes, managed by Thirteen, for local residents. We wish every continued success to the Community Land Trust and their tenants." 

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