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Housing Group working to combat empty homes

Genesis Housing Group has again pledged their full support for bringing empty houses back into use across the South East of England.

A 20,000 increase in the number of empty properties sees the number now at 720,000. Genesis is working extremely hard to help cut this number and turn as many properties as they can back into liveable homes.

This coincides with the Coalition Government making £100 million available to be invested in refurbishing empty homes. Genesis Housing have been working with many local councils throughout London and the South East to help landlords of empty properties turn them back into homes and identify how many properties can be brought back up to a liveable standard. The plan will hopefully put an end to the number of properties which have been empty for years. With landlord insurance for protection and a monthly income on the property, the landlord would also be helping with the current housing problems.

The Private Lease Agreements Converting Empties scheme (PLACE), has seen Pathmeads, a subsidiary of Genesis, also working with local councils in Essex and Hertfordshire in an attempt to stop the empty properties becoming a target for crime. The scheme will offer a grant to the landlord of up to £50,000 to carry out any refurbishment work and then in return for leasing the home to Pathmeads for a period of three years, the landlord would have a property which is ready to house people again and have their property renovated to their own specification.

Feargal Ward, managing director at Pathmeads, said “We are committed to working with local authorities and other organisations to tackle increasing numbers of long-term empty properties.

“With increasing pressure on funding for new affordable homes, bringing empty homes back into use is vitally important. Empty properties are blight to local communities, acting as a magnet for vandalism and crime and using up local resources.

“Bringing these homes back into use will benefit everyone and will make a real difference to those most in need.”

By Simon Dack

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