£700,000 housing cash boost to restore homes

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Doncaster is set for a housing boost after it was revealed the borough has been handed £700,000 for a major homes improvement project.

The funding, received from the Homes and Communities Agency, will be used by officials at Doncaster Council to bring privately owned empty properties back into use for people on the council’s housing waiting list.

The investment means a total of 87 long-term empty properties can be brought back into use over the next three years.

Doncaster Council says it was successful in securing the investment along with only 94 other housing providers across England.

Together, they will share in £70m of Empty Homes funding, aimed at refurbishing properties that have stood empty for at least six months.

Coun Ray Mullis, the borough’s cabinet member for housing, said: “This is excellent news for Doncaster and is recognition of the work Doncaster and its partners have been doing to tackle empty properties for the last two years.

“It will be a significant contribution to our ongoing programme of creating more affordable housing in the borough and will build on our nationally recognised best practice work on tackling empty homes in our neighbourhoods.

“Bringing empty homes back into use not only increases the amount of housing available, it also helps to tackle the challenges posed by empty properties and ultimately is about investing in our neighbourhoods and creating places that people want to live in.”

Pat Ritchie, chief executive of the HCA said: “The high level of interest we received by providers bidding to participate in this programme demonstrates just how important an issue it is.”

Doncaster Council currently has 11,463 people on its waiting list for homes.