A Hartlepool Street looks set to be transformed in a £500,000 pilot scheme. The local council are currently working on tackling the serious problem of empty properties in Baden Street as the houses have become a target for vandals and arsonists.
Currently there are forty six houses on the street with approximately half of them empty. The majority of the houses are owned by private landlords and council officials are concerned because there is no demand for any of the properties at the moment. Residents, local councillors and the police are all calling for action to be taken as soon as possible.
Some of the proposals include a landlord incentive scheme which would see the owners of the empty properties eligible for a £5,000 grant/loan to improve both the inside and outside of their properties in order to attract new tenants into their properties. A huge total of 200,000 is also going to be spent on improving the roads. Also included in the proposal is a permanent security presence on the street with the possibility of the police taking over a house.
The scheme has not won the approval of everyone in Hartlepool though and many are questioning why public funds should be used to help landlords with landlord insurance cover of their own. One local said: “I have been in a number of meetings whereby Baden Street has been brought up. I do think there is a need to do something but there are other problematic areas so why choose this ward and this street?”
Mayor of Hartlepool Stuart Drummond has been asked to endorse the proposals and if he does back the plan, property surveys will be carried out and the scheme will start in July or August. If it is successful, the scheme may be extended to other areas of the City.