Monday, 25 June 2012
FUNDING SUCCESS FOR MARGATE'S EMPTY HOMES
Thanet has been awarded more than £4m as part of a national government scheme designed to tackle the problem of empty homes in England.
Launched by the government last November, the £60m ‘Cluster of Empty Homes Fund’ is intended to tackle concentrations of poor quality, empty homes in low demand areas. The fund was open to all local authorities who could demonstrate the practical benefits of such support for their area.
Thanet District Council submitted a funding bid for parts of Cliftonville West and Central Margate wards, with the aim of bringing 160 housing units back into use.
The council has now been informed that it will receive £4,130, 923 – money that will be used to buy empty properties from owners. Depending upon the condition of the property and the circumstances, some will be demolished while others will be redeveloped, refurbished or converted.
Some properties will be converted into well-designed affordable social housing to families, with a reduction in the current density of homes. Others could be sold or let to those working in the creative sector, enabling artisans to live and work in dwellings.
Cash from the Cluster of Empty Homes Fund will help in the council’s overall regeneration strategy for Cliftonville West and Central Margate. Many properties in the wards are run-down, and this has an impact on the quality-of-life and wellbeing of many residents.
Director for Community Services, Madeline Homer said: “Cliftonville West and Central Margate have been highlighted as areas with high levels of poor quality housing and deprivation, and this is something the council is determined to tackle.
“Therefore, it’s wonderful news that we’ve secured more than £4m of government funding to help to regenerate the area. Empty properties can have a significantly negative impact on the environment – particularly if whole streets are affected.
“We’re confident that we’ll be able to use this funding to make a significant difference that will have a real and meaningful impact on many people’s lives both socially and economically.”
The council will now be working closely with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to work on a plan of action following the funding announcement.