Basingstoke council to refurbish empty homes

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Empty homes in part of Hampshire are to be leased from their owners and refurbished to provide housing.

Basingstoke and Dean Borough Council will work with housing charity Chapter 1 to take over 10 properties for five years and upgrade them.

The council said, as well as providing much-needed homes, the scheme would help people who might not be able to finance their own refurbishment works.

The authority said it wants to hear from owners of empty flats and houses.

Chapter 1 submitted a successful funding bid for the scheme, receiving £200,000 from the Homes and Community Agency.

Work carried out could include re-wiring, installing new boilers, damp proofing and electrical works as well as disability adaptations.

After five years, the properties will be returned to owners as rentable or saleable assets, the council said.

Housing councillor Rob Golding said: "The reasons why homes remain empty are many and varied, but a lack of access to funds is a common one.

"This scheme is primarily designed to assist those homeowners who not only have a lack of funds but are also unable to take on the responsibility of managing contractors, which can be a big worry if there is a lot of refurbishment required."

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