25th June, 2013

The 65 winners of £41m in funding from the Homes and Communities Agency have been named.

The funding is set aside from the Affordable Homes Programme to tackle long-term empty properties that need financial intervention to come back into use.

This is the second round of allocations under the programme, with 133 schemes set to benefit, delivering almost 2,000 new affordable homes across England.

£70m of the total of £100m in Empty Homes funding is being administered by the HCA.

According to data collected by local authorities, empty homes account for 3 per cent of the English housing stock, with 734,000 vacant dwellings at the end of September 2010.

Out of those, 301,000 are in the private sector, accounting for 1.6 per cent of all private sector stock.

The largest chunk of the homes receiving funding in this round will be in the Midlands, with 560 homes and £9.7m in funding.

The North-east and Yorkshire and the Humber will see £11,522,648 in funding, going towards 496 units, while the North-west will see 465 units benefiting from £8.9m.

Areas such as these boast some of the highest concentrations of empty homes.

The East and South-east are set for £4,867,605 over 252 units, while the South and South-west will see 166 homes benefit from £5.8m in funds.

Priority for the second round was given to the refurbishment of empty commercial and non-residential properties, with 35 per cent of allocations going towards non-residential properties.

The biggest single beneficiary was the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, with a grant of almost £7m to cover 386 properties.

The next biggest funding allocations went to Hull City Council, which will receive just over £4m, while £2.5m will go to Raglan Housing Association.

HCA chief executive Andy Rose said the response to the funding had been “encouraging”, showing a strong appetite and scope for the scheme.

Communities minister Don Foster said: “The government is doing everything possible to tackle the problem of empty homes and urban blight. This funding will bring people, shops and jobs back to once abandoned areas, and provide extra affordable homes we badly need.”

Empty home issues will be discussed at a number of the regional Retrofit Roadshow events that are taking place around the UK in the second half of 2013 – visit www.retrofit-roadshow.co.uk for more details.

Source: Construction News

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