Empty homes in Sheffield could be refurbished for homeless people

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Empty properties in Sheffield could be refurbished by homeless young people as part of a project designed to provide them with affordable homes and job skills.

Homeless charity Centrepoint is currently working on refurbishing 20 empty properties in Sunderland and hopes to bring the project to Sheffield.

Centrepoint’s refurbishment project, which it has jointly funded with the Department for Communities and Local Government, will provide homeless young people with an affordable home to rent.

The homeless charity also wants to take its project to Gateshead, Darlington and Northumberland next year.

But the charity, which supports 6,000 homeless people aged 16 to 25 each year, needs the owners of disused properties to work with it.

Martin Gill, Centrepoint’s head of operations in the north, said: “A massive 80,000 young people experience homelessness each year in the UK.

“But for those charities like Centrepoint are able to help, the chronic lack of housing young people actually can afford to rent leaves too many stuck in hostels.

“There are a huge number of empty homes out there, but we urgently need owners to come forward and work with us.”