Two-into-one scheme brings empty houses back into use

Work has started on bringing empty homes in the Arnside Road area back into use.

Ten new homes are being created out of 20 empty properties as part of the Own Place project.

Under Own Place the city council transfers vacant properties to The Riverside Group, who refurbish them and offer them for sale at a 25% discount to incentivise buyers to remain as owner occupiers for a minimum of five years.

Own Place – which won a UK Housing Award for Making Best Use of Stock – allows people, who couldn’t otherwise afford to buy their own home, to become owner occupiers.

Riverside’s Director of Property Strategy, James Hill, explains the Arnside Road scheme: “The 20 empty terraced houses we bought had a very small two up/ two down layout. We decided modern family life requires more room and designed 10 new homes fit for the 21st Century by knocking through two into one.”

Councillor Ann O’Byrne, the city council cabinet member for housing said: “It’s fantastic that this area is being regenerated. We have worked closely with the .local community to find ways of bringing properties back into use and attracting people into the area and this is a great way of providing affordable good quality housing.”

Own Place has received £1.2m funding from Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Riverside Director of Asset Management, Ian Gregg, is pleased with the success of the scheme: “Own Place is proving a successful scheme and affordable housing has never been more important. Since we launched five years ago, we have brought over 350 empty homes back into use for sale to first-time buyers. We are passionate about working with local authorities to bring empty properties back into use, revitalising the surrounding communities.”

The Arnside Road showhome will be ready for viewings in July 2014, with the development due for completion by December 2014.

Pictured (left to right):  Councillor Natalie Nicholas,Sue Ward ( Property Manager Riverside Housing) and Counncillor Ann O’Byrne.