Plan to bring empty South Tyneside homes back into use

A housing development project is on the lookout for empty homes in South Tyneside to bring them back into use.

Monday, 1st July 2019, 16:30 pm
Updated Monday, 1st July 2019, 17:27 pm
Coun Mark Walsh outside a South Tyneside Housing Venture's property in South Shields.

South Tyneside Housing Ventures Trust has already bought and renovated more than 50 properties in the borough to be rented out as affordable homes and is now seeking 10 more after getting extra cash.

The trust is an independent, private, not-for-profit company set up in 2013 with help from the council and South Tyneside Homes.

Brian Scott, company secretary of the Housing Ventures Trust, said: “We’re delighted to get more funding from Homes England to continue our empty homes programme. We’re now identifying another 10 properties to bring back into use.

“These have often stood empty, in a state of disrepair, for a long time. It gives the entire area a boost.”

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The homes are acquired in a number of ways – including the open market – after negotiation with owners, or, in some cases, using an Empty Dwelling Management Order.

Under the terms of these orders, derelict homes can be refurbished using public funding and rented out to local people – with the Trust acting as landlord.

Coun Mark Walsh, lead member for housing and transport at South Tyneside Council, said: “Empty homes can blight neighbourhoods as they can attract anti-ocial behaviour and vandalism.

“The rental income covers the cost of the renovations and is ploughed back into other properties in need of refurbishment so it is an ongoing process.”

The properties benefit from works including new roofs, replacement of double glazed windows and doors and new kitchens and bathrooms.

They are also fitted with a efficient heating system, loft insulation and low energy light bulbs ensuring the properties are extremely efficient and cost effective to live in.

The Ventures Trust provides new homes for people aged over the age of 55, families living with someone with a disability, and new and refurbished family and starter homes.

To speak to South Tyneside Housing Ventures Trust about an empty property, call Faye Tully on 0300 1236633.