Council plans to revamp 100 empty homes in Hartlepool are well underway

Denise Ogden
Denise Ogden

COUNCIL plans to revamp 100 empty homes are well on the way with 77 now under local authority ownership.

Regeneration chiefs will present the latest work on the ongoing Hartlepool Borough Council Empty Property Purchasing Scheme at a full council meeting on Thursday night.

When it first launched the scheme aimed to buy and refurbish 100 long-term empty homes - defined as being empty for six months or more - by agreement by March this year.

That has now been extended to September, with the properties let at an affordable rent and managed by Housing Hartlepool.

Ahead of the meeting, the council had brought 77 units and an extra 14 properties with an agreed sale awaiting legal completion. Officers say, on average, the cost of buying and refurbishing an empty property is £54,433.

Denise Ogden, the director of regeneration and neighbourhoods, said: “Officers are confident, even though the timescales for delivery are challenging that the target of acquiring 100 units will be achieved.”

To date 45 properties are complete and let or are ready to be let by Housing Hartlepool while an extra 27 have work currently underway.

The scheme was first agreed back in March 2012 and it was initially agreed to bring 48 properties back into use.

The council then secured £2.6m from the Department of Communities and Local Government which expanded the scheme to 100 properties.

Mrs Ogden added: “The long term strategic objectives of the scheme is to bring long-term empty properties back into use and to provide affordable accommodation which is well managed and in good condition for the residents of Hartlepool.”

Councillors will meet on Thursday, April 3, at 7pm at the Civic Centre, in Victoria Road, to discuss the scheme.