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Dec 14

North Huyton renovates empty home ready for family at Christmas

Assets, Innovation, North West region

Locality member North Huyton Communities Futures hopes to have an empty home renovated and ready for a homeless family to move in by Christmas.

North Huyton Communities Futures in Knowsley, Merseyside is currently working to bring two empty properties back into use using an empty homes grant from the Homes and Communities Agency – a grant pot specifically targeted at community organisations.

The first house should be ready by Christmas and the second by February.

North Huyton renovated their very first empty property in the summer, and even though the house had been unoccupied for nine years and was an overgrown mess (see picture above), they rose to the challenge.

Undeterred by this first experience, they bought two more empty properties and set about bringing them back into use and even have plans to purchase another.

North Huyton CEO, Tim Molton, said: “We are currently negotiating for another property, but many of the owners are proving unreasonable in their price expectations! However, I’ve seen the new call for second round bids so hopefully we will be bidding again.”

If enough exemplar community-led projects like the one in Knowsley emerge then the government may be will be willing to invest even more resources for this purpose. They have recently announced a second round of empty homes grants funding.