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Council transforms empty properties into family homes

Plans to bring long-term empty properties back into use as family homes are forging ahead in Sunderland.

Sunderland City Council has recently purchased seven empty properties and is in the process of refurbishing them ready for letting as high-quality affordable homes, which meet local housing needs.

The properties were in a poor condition and had become unsightly as they had stood empty for a long time, one of them being empty for over ten years. The refurbishment will see the properties receive new bathrooms and kitchens as well as being fully carpeted and decorated, ready for letting as quality new homes.

The council decided to become a Registered Provider of social housing in 2019 with the aim of increasing the amount of affordable housing and speeding up housing supply across the city. These properties are first of many properties which it will provide, with the purchase of more empty properties planned and new developments across the city.

Councillor Rebecca Atkinson, cabinet member for Dynamic City (pictured with Graham Scanlon, assistant director of Housing Services), said: “Bringing empty homes back into use as affordable housing is a key part of the council’s City Plan which aims to make the city more dynamic, healthy and vibrant over the next decade.

“Buying up and bringing these homes back into use is the first phase of a targeted approach to strengthen and improve life in our communities by reducing the number of empty properties across our city.”