Brighton & Hove Seaside Community Homes began leasing and refurbishing empty council properties in November last year. Since then it has refurbished and tenanted 198 empty properties and is currently refurbishing a further ninety five.
Gemma Fisher, 26, has moved into the 200th property with her family. Ms Fisher said, “It’s amazing to have moved in to such a great property in time for Christmas. The refurbishment standard is top-notch and it already feels like home”.
The property in question was last used by Brighton & Hove City Council as Temporary Accommodation before standing empty for three years suffering from neglect and vandalism. Seaside Homes leased the property from Brighton & Hove City Council in August of this year. The house has been converted into a 3 bed and 2 bed flat and has been completely refurbished with carpets, kitchens and bathrooms by Seaside’s partner Mears Group PLC. The flats will be let at sub-market rents to people in housing need in the city.
Seaside Homes Trustee Vivien Woodcock-Downey said, “It is an injustice that people are homeless or inappropriately housed when there are so many properties empty and uninhabitable. The housing demand in the city and restrictions limiting the ability to build new homes are well known. It is therefore more important than ever that we utilise the properties we have in the city and don’t allow homes to stand unused. By working in partnership with the council and our contractors Mears, we have managed to bring two hundred empty properties back into use in just over a year. That is a fantastic achievement and just shows what can be done when organisations work in partnership”.
Hollingdean & Stanmer ward councillor Christina Summers said, “The conspicuous location of this property on a main highway and near a school makes this development all the more significant. Residents in the vicinity who have contacted me during this year with real concerns about anti-social behaviour linked to this property will surely be relieved. It has been empty and derelict for far too long. Now we have two new, excellent quality, homes.”