NOTE: This content is old - Published: Sunday, Dec 11th, 2011.
Wrexham County Borough Council is working in partnership with a local housing association to provide an innovative scheme helping owners of empty homes in the county bring their properties back into use.
In August we reported how officers from Wrexham Council had identified empty homes in the area which have the potential to be rented out to local people and were urging home owners to bring them back into use as part of the Empty Homes Strategy.
Now the council has teamed up with Clwyd Alyn Housing Association, a member of the Pennaf Housing Group, which has offered to assist with necessary renovations for each property up to a maximum of £5,000 under a Leasehold and Management Scheme.
The property owner would in turn agree to a three year lease contract with Clwyd Alyn, allowing them to recoup the repair costs as the properties are rented out by Offa, a separate part of the Pennaf Housing Group which specialises in property management and lettings in the private sector.
Cllr Mark Pritchard, Lead Member for Housing and Planning said:
“As a local authority we are aware of the impact many empty properties can have on local communities in terms of anti social behaviour or loss of a much needed home, and also how difficult it can be for owners of empty properties to bring them back into use.
“We also appreciate the impact it may have on neighbours who may live next door to an empty property through no fault of their own. We are therefore eager to assist in any way we can in collaboration with our partner organisations by providing practical support and advice.”
“During the initial lease period the property would be let at rent below current market value. Following the deduction of renovation, management and letting costs the remainder of the rental income will provide a regular income for the house owner.
Deiniol Evans, Director of Development and Technical Services for the Pennaf Housing Group said”For some people who own empty properties, the prospect of letting can seem quite daunting, particularly if they are faced with financing renovations to meet the necessary statutory requirements.
“This new initiative provides a really excellent opportunity for property owners to access professional help at the same time as turning an empty property into regular income.”
Wrexham Council has identified more than 150 properties across the county that have been empty for 6 months or more and has set a target of seeing 35 of these properties returned into use by the end of the current financial year.
If you are an owner of an empty home that wishes to work with Wrexham County Borough Council and Pennaf Housing Group, or wish to report an empty property in the area please contact Siôn Wynne, Housing Partnership Officer on 01978 315 587 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Carla Hewitt, Leasehold and Marketing at Offa on 0845 111 0309 or email@example.com