Vacant houses to be turned into affordable housing…

January 15th 2015
By: Melanie Hollidge
Vacant houses to be turned into affordable housing…

Increasing house prices in the UK are great if you own a property but for those who don’t, recent price hikes can feel very disparaging. Rental prices are also sky high which has resulted in many not having the choice of where to live and if family and friends can’t help out then many people across the UK stand the chance of being made homeless. Having a roof over our head does not only provide warm shelter, but also security, which is something of a luxury to the homeless.
It’s good to see that this problem of lack of affordable housing is being addressed by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who in partnership with the Big Issue are going to invest in empty properties turning them into new affordable homes in the heart of the capital.
Boris Johnson has managed to secure £10 million loan from his Housing Covenant to Big Issue Invest who already help small community groups to renovate some of the Capital’s empty homes.
The plan is to renovate 400 empty homes in the City, over a period of 10 years, which will offer good quality housing. The scheme is going to also involve long-term employment for the unemployed – including veterans and young people who are finding it hard to get work, offering the chance of retraining in the construction industry.
Since the current Mayor was elected, the amount of empty houses in the Capital is at its lowest since the 70s, with just over 5,000 unoccupied properties being used again through the GLA housing programme which started in 2008.
‘With the huge demand for housing it's essential we get empty properties back into use, which is why I'm helping innovative projects renovate them back into much needed affordable homes,’ said Johnson.
‘Big Issue Invest are masters of boosting community social enterprise and delivering key employment and training skills to the homeless and unemployed people who need our extra support. This funding sits alongside my affordable home programme which is on track to deliver 100,000 new low cost homes across the city,’ he added.
Source: Property Wire