An eyesore property which blighted a Heywood street has been transformed as part of a campaign to bring empty properties back into use.
The two bedroom house in Vigo Street was empty for 15 years and riddled with damp when Rochdale Council and housing association AKSA Homes stepped in earlier this year.
Housing officers who worked on the property returned to the site during national empty homes week (25 November – 2 December), this week, to take a look around.
The house has been transformed as part of empty to plenty, a Greater Manchester wide scheme which aims to stamp out the problems associated with empty properties by refurbishing homes and finding tenants on behalf of empty home owners.
The scheme gives owners of empty houses the opportunity to rent their property to a housing association who will carry out any necessary repairs and find a tenant. The housing association will recover the cost of refurbishment and management fees from the rental income and at the end of the lease period they hand the property back to the owner.
‘Empty to Plenty’, which is funded by local authorities across Greater Manchester and the government’s Homes and Communities Agency along with the Department for Communities and Local Government, is a potential lifeline for the 3,500 people in Rochdale borough who are currently waiting for a home.
Councillor Iftikhar Ahmed, Assistant to the Cabinet member for Housing at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “It’s unacceptable that we have 3,000 empty properties in Rochdale while so many people are waiting for a home. We’re working hard to change that and would encourage empty home owners to take part in our scheme. While their property is sitting empty they’re not making any money from it and it is becoming an ugly blot on the landscape which creates problems for everybody on the street.”
Anyone who lives on a street with a long term empty property or anyone who owns an empty property is encouraged to call the council on 0845 121 2974.
More information about the scheme can be found at www.rochdale.gov.uk/emptyproperty
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