Dozens of empty Brighton and Hove homes to be restored

Posted On 09 Mar 2012 at 7:46 pm

About 45 empty properties in Brighton and Hove are to be refurbished and used to house the homeless.

The work is being funded with a £675,000 grant from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Brighton and Hove City Council said that its award-winning empty property team had made a successful bid for the funds to bring the private sector homes back into use.

The homes have been empty for six months or more and will house those in most need, the council said.

The team uses a mix of encouragement and enforcement with landlords to bring about 150 homes back into use each year.

Its work has resulted in more than 1,000 properties becoming someone’s home again over the past seven years.

The council said that the private rented sector played an important role in the housing mix in Brighton and Hove, representing about 85 per cent of all homes.

The city has more than seven times the level of converted flats than the national average and the sixth largest private rented sector in the country.

Council leader Bill Randall, who was involved in setting up the Empty Homes Agency in the 1990s, said: “Despite being heavily oversubscribed, we have managed to successful bid for much-needed funding to help us bring long-term empty private homes in Brighton and Hove back into use.

“This is testament to the excellent work by our empty properties team and is good news for our homeless and overcrowded residents who are in desperate need of a decent home.

“The city faces a housing crisis and we must make the best use of all available housing.”

Councillor Liz Wakefield, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “This is one more way of helping to alleviate the chronic housing problem we have in the city.

“The private sector plays an important role in the city with 85 per cent of homes privately owned so it’s good news that we have secured this money.

“It will help bring homes that have sat around empty for more than six months back into use for those in the most desperate need.”

The empty property team was named “Practitioner of the Year” by the Empty Homes Network last year.

  1. Valerie Paynter, Reply

    Bring back The Private Sector Housing Forum while you are at it, eh? Under the Labour Administration that collapsed at the polls in May 2007, the only council-supported Forum dealing with private sector housing issues was forcibly disbanded by the Labour Administration when it did not kowtow to its BHCC masters on a particular issue…..

    The Conservatives (2007-2011) did not revive it. Will the Greens?

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