Welcome boost to tackle empty homes

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City bosses working to breathe new life into some of Sheffield’s empty homes have welcomed a funding boost.

Earlier this month South Yorkshire was awarded a slice of a £91 million grant to bring derelict or unused homes and retail units across the UK back into use after a successful bid.

The organisation Action Housing and Support was given £80,000 for the transformation of eight units in Sheffield, while local authorities in Doncaster and Barnsley are also set to benefit.

Cash is part of Communities Minister Don Foster’s plan to refurbish areas which have been hardest hit by squatting and collapsing house prices as a result of rotting properties.

Coun Harry Harpham, cabinet member for homes at Sheffield Council said: “It is great news that Sheffield will be receiving this funding to further bring empty properties back into use.

“The council has been working hard to tackle the issue of empty properties, working with partners to secure funding for this work to take place in the city. We have already attracted £570,000 to not only help purchase and repair long term empty properties and provide loans to owners of long-term empty properties to bring them up to a decent standard and lease them to the council.

“Fortunately, Sheffield does not suffer from clusters of empty properties like other cities but that doesn’t mean the issue is not high on our list of priorities.

“We are doing everything we can to bring empty properties back into use and improve neighbourhoods.”