Scores of empty homes in two Liverpool areas are being brought back into use thanks to a £3.5m investment.
Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH) will regenerate 45 mid-terraced properties in Tuebrook and Stoneycroft by next autumn.
LMH intends to invest £2.54m while Liverpool City Council has provided a grant of £979,000 after it received £16.8m from the government’s Cluster of Empty Homes Fund last year.
The work will target properties that have been empty for more than six months and which might be at risk of falling into permanent disrepair or could blight otherwise settled streets.
LMH’s in-house contractor, Housing Maintenance Solutions, will carry out the insulation, external repairs and high standard internal works.
Green measures within the improvements will reduce tenants’ fuel bills compared with similar existing properties as well as reducing carbon emissions.
The properties will be let on affordable rents.
Chief Executive at Liverpool Mutual Homes, Steve Coffey, said: “Liverpool has a distinct shortage of decent rented housing properties and this problem is magnified in Tuebook and Stoneycroft.
“Empty homes should be seen as a potential asset and an opportunity to address the housing crisis so it is vital they are brought back into use to meet demand.
“We have identified the first tranche of acquisitions and hope to complete the first properties in the next few months.
“We have shown the success of this approach after saving many derelict homes over the past five years, particularly in Broad Lane and Norris Green, transforming tired areas into thriving communities.
“Our work in Tuebrook and Stoneycroft focuses on regenerating and preserving the housing market and preventing it from further decline.
“By investing in pockets of empty housing – in some cases two and three homes in a street – it stops whole rows of terraced housing and then neighbourhoods falling by the wayside.”
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said: “Liverpool’s success in securing millions of pounds in Empty Homes Cluster Funding is making a huge difference to local people.
“We are targeting this funding in a way which is helping us revitalise neighbourhoods all over the city and deliver long overdue housing improvements in the areas which need it most.
“I’m really pleased that Liverpool Mutual Homes are putting their Empty Homes Funding to such good use.
“Combined with their own investment, this grant will help give many more local families good quality, affordable homes, while tackling the blight caused by properties which have been left to rot.
“This scheme is the latest piece of the jigsaw in our efforts to deliver 1,000 refurbished houses in Liverpool over the next three years, and we’re looking forward to working with LMH on the delivery of these plans.”
LMH will also work with the City Council to identify potential new build opportunities in the area and offer a comprehensive approach to regenerating the ward.
“Long-term, Tuebrook and Stoneycroft is in need of a wider, more complete housing regeneration strategy,” added Steve Coffey.
“Improving homes in isolation is not going to solve the bigger problems and this approach complements the council’s plan to clamp down on poor private rented housing conditions and management standards in the area.”