A MULTI-MILLION pound scheme that is bringing empty homes back into use is benefiting families.
Around 30 properties bought up by Hartlepool Borough Council as part of its Empty Property Purchasing Scheme have been refurbished and are in the process of being let to new tenants.
Desmond Dongo, 36, his wife Plaxcedes, 33, and their two children – Desmond Junior, one, and Nikita, four – moved into a property in Tankerville Street seven months ago, having lived in privately-rented accommodation elsewhere in the town.
“The move to this property has been a big change for the better in our lives. I’m very impressed by the quality of the refurbishment work and the property is spacious and well appointed.
“The on-going service that we have received since moving has also been excellent, everyone has been really supportive,” said Desmond.
Improvements carried out to the property include new windows and doors, a damp proof course, a new kitchen and bathroom, a full re-wire, a new central heating system, new carpets and a full re-decoration.
The £5.8 million Empty Property Purchasing Scheme which is jointly funded by Hartlepool Council and the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency, aims to refurbish vacant properties that are in a poor state of repair before they can contribute to the wider decline of a particular area.
It has a target of bringing 100 properties back into use by March 2014.
Around 70 properties have so far been acquired.
Amy Waller, the council’s principal housing regeneration officer, said: “We are really pleased with the progress of the scheme and it is great to see families benefiting directly from the work that has been carried out.”
Properties purchased and revamped via the scheme which is part of the Council’s wider Empty Homes Strategy, are being managed by Housing Hartlepool on the council’s behalf.
Landlords with an empty property who are interested in getting involved in the scheme, can contact Martin Spaldin, the Council’s Empty Homes Officer, on (01429) 523288 for further information.