A £1m Victorian Villa that stood empty for five years suffering from neglect and vandalism has been refurbished and brought back into use. The property was last used by Brighton & Hove City Council as Temporary Accommodation. Seaside Homes leased the property from the council in October last year and has converted it into 16 one and two bedroom flats at a cost of £1m. The newly refurbished homes are let at sub-market rents to vulnerable people in housing need.
The redevelopment is part of a partnership programme between Seaside Homes, Brighton & Hove City Council and Mears PLC to redevelop and refurbish 499 former council properties over 5 years. Seaside Homes started redeveloping empty homes in November 2011 and has since brought 351 properties back into use raising £17.3m in the process to refurbish the leased properties as well as providing additional investment for thousands of other council homes.
Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas opened the refurbished property and was given a tour to see the standard to which the properties are being refurbished. Dr Lucas said: “‘Years of successive governments failure to prioritise housing has led to a housing crisis in the UK where demand for affordable accommodation far outstrips supply. The problem is particularly acute in Brighton. Now that this government have substantially reduced subsidies to social housing providers to build new homes, we need innovative new business models and partnerships such as this one to meet the challenge of providing adequate housing for future generations. I applaud Seaside Homes and Brighton & Hove city Council for their partnership work and hope they are able to extend this to provide additional housing in the future”
Chair of Seaside Homes John Regan said, “To have refurbished 351 homes within two years is a fantastic achievement. The key to this is our partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council and Mears PLC and the cross-party support we have received from local councillors”