11:10am Monday 12th March 2012
By Simon Moss
A FAMILY home which stood empty for more than seven years is back in use after housing chiefs spent cash from a homeless prevention fund.
The owner of the property, in Cayman Close, Popley, passed away and family members who inherited the house did not know what to do with it, meaning it fell into disrepair.
However, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has spent £6,000 from its homelessness prevention budget to bring the property back into use. It will now be leased by Sovereign Housing Association – on behalf of the owners – to a family on the borough’s housing register.
Councillor Cathy Osselton, Cabinet member for housing, health and culture, praised the approach. She said: “This house would still be empty if the council had not worked with the owners, who did not want to sell it but didn’t know what they could do with it.
“This is the first time that we have used homelessness prevention funding and a partnership with Sovereign Housing Association in this innovative way to provide a home to a family in need.
“It is a good example of how we work with homeowners to provide solutions based on each individual property and situation, and I hope this will prompt more owners to work with us if they don’t want to sell.”
The rental income will be split between the owners, Sovereign Housing Association and the borough council. The council’s portion of the rent will then go towards replenishing the homelessness budget.
Sovereign regional director Luke Bingham said: “It is great to see empty homes being brought back into use and providing much-needed affordable accommodation for people on Basingstoke and Deane’s housing waiting list. We are keen to support the council in innovative approaches which help to meet the borough’s housing needs.”
Work to bring the home back into use began last week.
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