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newspic_8587_20-08-2013Brighton & Hove Seaside Community homes has so far raised £16.7m to improve council housing in the city.

We began leasing and refurbishing empty council properties in November 2011. Since then we have refurbished and tenanted 304 empty properties and are currently refurbishing a further 47 in partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council and Mears PLC.

The money raised is being used to refurbish homes in disrepair and empty houses and flats many of which have been empty for years. Larger houses previously used as temporary accommodation have been converted into modern flats. We expect to lease 499 homes over five years and raise £28.5m in the process to refurbish the leased properties as well as provide additional investment for thousands of other council homes.

The homes are let at sub-market rents to people in housing need in the city and money raised in the future will be re-invested in housing in the city.

Seaside Homes’ Vice Chair Roy Crowhurst said, “Seaside’s business model will make a major contribution to the council bringing all its properties up to Decent Homes Standards whilst at the same time ensuring that those tenants in temporary accommodation are provided with a safe and secure home of good quality.”

Chair of the Housing Committee Bill Randall said, “This is an innovative model for raising housing finance that gives the council a stake in a local not-for-profit company that will re-invest any surpluses it makes in the city. This is a fantastic achievement in such a short space of time and just shows what can be achieved when organisations work in partnership.”