At last nights council executive meeting proposals were put forward and approved for the Buxton Housing Market Intervention Project which seeks to use just short of a £1 million received by the council by way of the Otter Holes S106 contribution to bring back into use empty properties in the Buxton area
The Great British Property Scandal series on channel 4 recently highlighted the problem of empty homes and with in excess of 600 empty homes across the High Peak and just short of a third of them in Buxton and over 4000 people on the waiting list this initiative is well timed and also country to the view of the channel 4 series it shows councils can tackle the problem if like High Peak does at this time, they have access to the funds to do the work.
Essentially the project will see the council enter in to a partnership with a registered social landlord to buy empty houses in Buxton, refurbish them and then once refurbished the property will renter the market in an affordable fashion i.e. either for rent, shared ownership or some other variation.
The project will seek to return into use a minimum of 35 properties, with the exact number pending definition of what types, locations and amount of works required
Our nominated partner will also look to work with the council and locals in developing a social enterprise model which will hopefully as the project progresses carry out the work on the properties
We are also following the announcement of the government's housing strategy using the project to bid into the £100m pot on bringing empty properties back into use, which if successful will mean we can extend the project across the High Peak
The 'partner' the council will be working with will be revealed shortly as soon as the tendering / procurement works allow.