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HCA visits first empty homes brought back into use in Bury

Press Release   •   Jun 20, 2013 14:17 BST

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) visited Bury last week to see the first four empty properties that have been brought back into use by Bury Council and Six Town Housing as affordable housing for rent.

They had a look at the works that have been carried out on empty properties on Six Town estates in Radcliffe and Prestwich and to commend Bury on the successful delivery of the first year of a three-year Government-funded programme.

These new homes will provide additional housing for the borough’s residents that are on the housing waiting list, and they will be occupied soon.

The council and STH are now busy working on identifying and purchasing properties for the second year of the delivery programme. 

Councillor Rishi Shori, cabinet member for adult care, health and housing, said: “It’s good news for Bury to see the first few homes that have stood empty for an average of two years brought into use for much needed housing.

“A lot of hard work has gone into making this happen which will continue for the next two years through this HCA-funded programme.  It’s also great to see that local young people through the council’s Backing Young Bury scheme have also worked on the empty properties and learned new skills that should support their route to employment.”

 

Christine Duffin, area manager at the HCA, said: “This is a great example of joint working to kick-start the empty homes programme in this area.

“It’s good to see first-hand how our investment is working and how these empty homes have been turned around to create affordable social housing for local people.”

Gordon Ronald, director of assets for Six Town Housing, said: “We are delighted to support and assist Bury Council and the Homes and Communities Agency in bringing back to use the empty properties that Six Town Housing have fully refurbished through our community-based building company Repairs Direct. The fact that we have been able to employ four young people and assist them to progress towards their lifetime ambition to work in the construction industry makes this project particularly special to us.

“We hope to bring back more empty homes throughout the six townships and look forward to working with the Homes and Communities Agency, Bury Council and of course Backing Young Bury who will provide the funding and support to continue our active work with young people.”

ENDS

Press release issued: 20 June 2013.

Picture attached: At the new homes in Williamson Avenue, Radcliffe are (from left) Liz Gudgeon, unit manager, urban renewal; Gordon Ronald, director of assets at Six Town Housing; Cllr Rishi Shori; Christine Duffin, area manager at the HCA; and Ashleigh Barlow, empty property officer.

Notes to editor:

Bury is part of an Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) programme funded by the HCA to purchase empty properties and bring them back into use over three years. £23,000 has been secured from the HCA per property. Funding has also been secured from Six Town Housing. 

Backing Young Bury is a Team Bury activity to reduce youth unemployment (16–24) in the borough.  It has a particular emphasis on assisting those young people who are the furthest away from securing employment in line with the Troubled Families agenda.

The estates where the properties are include Sherbourne Court (Prestwich), and Hollinhurst, Outwood and St Andrew’s (Radcliffe).