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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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£840,000 scheme to revamp empty homes in Carlisle

More than £840,000 has been secured to bring empty homes back into use as affordable housing in Carlisle.

Money will be spent on revamping 45 vacant properties in the Carlisle area as part of a project that backers believe will also help tackle vandalism.

Carlisle City Council is part of an alliance that has landed the cash, which will lead to the homes being revamped by December 2014.

It will be working with the YMCA to help landlords bring back into use properties which have been empty for at least six months – some of them blighting the streets on which they stand.

Work will be carried out as part of a Government drive to make the most of housing already available to relieve the pressure on shortage of affordable homes.

The bulk of the cash – £540,000 – has been secured by the YMCA in partnership with the city council from the Government’s Empty Homes Community Grant Programme. A further £254,000 has come through a council bid to the Homes and Communities Agency, with the authority ploughing £50,000 of its own funds in also.

Jessica Riddle, the city councillor responsible for housing, said: “We are delighted that more than £500,000 has been secured to bring empty properties back in to use.

“Empty properties blight communities and can often attract vandalism and cause considerable distress to neighbouring property owners and tenants.

“At a time of increased housing need, this is a brilliant opportunity for properties which been off the market for a long time to be brought back into use.”

Because of the funding ties from the Government, all the homes revamped and brought back into use must be classed as affordable and when they made available to home-hunters.

The YMCA’s Fylde Coast branch is the one working with the city council on the property revamp programme.

Its executive director, John Cronin, said: “We are very excited about securing this funding which will enable us to work in partnership with the council to secure much needed access to affordable homes for those people who need it most.”

Landlords wanting more information about how to get involved in the ‘Making Homes’ programme should contact Tim Linford on 01228 510036.

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