EMPTY properties in Stockport are being brought back into use as part of a government initiative.
The initiative has enabled the arms length council firm Stockport Homes to purchase 17 empty properties across the borough to help in a minor way to shore up the desperate need for accommodation.
There is further funding to fix an additional seven properties under the Empty to Plenty Scheme.
The renovation is being carried out by social enterprise B4Box Construction in conjunction with Stockport Homes Repair 1st.
B4Box specialises in training and revitalising local workforces, ensuring workless residents are trained, qualified and employed while at the same time bringing properties that blight communities back in to use.
Aileen McDonnell, chief executive of B4Box said: “It is really important that young people get into real work and training for their futures. This collaboration has helped 15 Stockport residents into work and we plan to do more… that’s on top of creating much-needed new homes!”
A property which was empty in Stockport Road, Cheadle, for more than 15 years, was one of the latest to be given a makeover and provide a new home for a family in need.
The property was fully refurbished with a new kitchen and bathroom fitted as well as new windows, a full re-wiring of the property and a new heating system and is now tenanted to a family who were in need of housing.
Coun Sue Derbyshire, leader of Stockport Council said, ““Empty properties brought back into use in this way provide much-needed affordable homes for families on the borough’s waiting list while improving young people’s skills and aspirations in the local area.”
Owners of empty properties in Greater Manchester need to act quickly if they want to take advantage of help and support to bring their homes back into use. Funding for Greater Manchester’s ‘Empty to Plenty’ scheme needs to be spent by March 2015.
For more information about how to access grants, support and advice visit www.stockport.gov.uk/emptytoplenty.