New project tackles empty homes in Surrey

26 July 2013

Transform is leading a new partnership project to help to tackle the problem of empty homes in five boroughs across Surrey.

The ‘Building A Sustainable Environment’ (BASE) Housing partnership aims to bring empty properties back into use across Elmbridge, Guildford, Runnymede, Spelthorne and Woking. The project will create homes for more than 40 local people.

The initiative is a partnership between Transform Housing & Support, the Borough Councils in the five areas, Paragon Community Housing Group, and Omega Housing. Other partners include the Parity Trust, Action Surrey and Mansell Construction in Woking.

We will work with local property owners to identify suitable empty buildings and develop a plan to get them back into use. In some areas the properties would be bought from their current owner, refurbished and used as affordable housing. In other cases, the properties will be leased from their current owner for a fixed term, repaired and rented to local people in housing need.

Andrea Cannon, Director of Client Strategy & Delivery at Transform Housing & Support, said:

“There is a real shortage of affordable housing across these five boroughs – but at the same time many thousands of properties are sitting empty. Once buildings fall into disuse and disrepair, owners often struggle to find the time and money to get their property back into use. We will provide practical support and funding to help landlords to tackle this problem, creating much-needed affordable housing within the community.”

The BASE partnership has received £793,000 of funding from the Homes and Communities Agency towards the cost of bringing vacant properties back into use.

If you have an empty property and would like support to get it back into use, please contact the housing department of Elmbridge, Guildford, Runnymede, Spelthorne or Woking Borough Council.

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