Empty homes brought back into use

PLANS to bring back into use empty homes bought for a regeneration scheme hit by Government cuts are set to be approved by Sheffield Council.

The authority's cabinet is being asked to approve a "flexible" plan for the 37 properties in Fir Vale when it meets on Wednesday.

The homes were bought by the council to be rebuilt and renovated as part of a Government scheme but funding was cut.

Council officials then planned to sell them on the open market - but the current economic climate has made that difficult.

Coun Penny Baker, cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, said: "Doing nothing is not an option. We can't afford to have empty houses falling into disrepair.

"There's a demand for housing in the area and residents don't want eyesore houses on their street."

The properties involved are five homes on Barnsley Road, two on Earl Marshal Road.

The remaining 30 properties in Page Hall were originally bought by South Yorkshire Housing Association using Housing Market Renewal funding, before being sold to the council for a nominal 1 each.

The homes, which range from one to five bedrooms, would be made available for sale, or for rent through a housing association or Sheffield Homes. Some could be sold to private landlords.

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