Fylde Council’s Executive Committee have approved a fund to help transform empty residences across Fylde into affordable housing as part of the Council’s Empty Homes Strategy.
The Empty Homes Strategy aims to maximise the number of empty homes returned into use as affordable housing, looking at properties that have lain empty for more than two years as part of the Council’s plan to increase availability of homes for Fylde residents while reducing the pressure to build new ones.
A Registered Provider will be appointed for a two-year period through an open tender procurement exercise, with a performance requirement to bring a minimum of 6 empty homes back into use as affordable housing.
The Empty Homes Fund will be used to supplement the funding the Registered Provider is able to obtain from Homes England’s Affordable Housing Programme to purchase and refurbish the properties. The Empty Homes Fund will specifically be used to contribute towards renovation costs with a proposal of approximately £20,000 per property, though there may be circumstances where a higher contribution is required due to the condition of the residence.
Cllr Chris Dixon, Lead Member for Social Wellbeing, said: “Providing affordable social housing for our residents is one of Fylde Council’s key priorities, which is why we’re proud to be partners in the MyHomeChoice choice-based letting scheme for the Fylde Coast. We’re always looking for means to help people find comfortable and affordable homes, and increasing the number of available properties is one of the best ways we can do this.
“Over the past few years, our Housing Service and Environmental Protection teams have also seen an increase in complaints received about empty homes and their impact on neighbouring residents, particularly in terms of properties in disrepair or with overgrown premises.
“The creation of the Empty Homes Fund will help us secure a registered provider to work alongside in addressing both of these issues.”
The addition of the Empty Homes Fund to the Capital Programmes for 2023/24 (£75,000) and 24/25 (£100,000) is made up of Section 106 (S106) contributions relating to three housing development sites in Fylde: Harbour Lane in Warton; the lane opposite Ribchester Road in Lytham St Annes; and Moss Farm in Westby.
S106 funds arise where developers may be required to make ‘off site’ affordable housing provision instead of provision ‘on site’. This is normally achieved by S106 contributions towards the provision of affordable housing in areas of higher need.
To read more about Fylde Council’s Empty Homes Strategy, visit the Fylde Council website.
If you or someone you know is affected by or at risk of homelessness, or would just like advice on housing issues, help is available. Read more about how to contact the Fylde Council Housing Team here.
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