Empty homes to be given new lease of life

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Empty homes in Liverpool. Pic by JMU Journalism

Empty homes in Liverpool. Pic by JMU Journalism

Reporting: Molly Copoc & Paige Freshwater

A home renovation enterprise aiming to help bring empty houses back into use has been launched in North Liverpool.

Coming Home helps property owners restore their vacant dwellings to an acceptable standard and supports the search for suitable tenants.

Ronnie Hughes of Coming Home told JMU Journalism: “We’ve got 9,000 empty homes in Liverpool, but half of them are just the normal churn of buying and selling and repairing.

“However, half of them have been empty for more than six months – many of them for more than a year or two.”

Government data shows that across England there are over 200,000 homes that have been sat empty for more than half a year.

Mr Hughes added: “Conservatively speaking we would be looking to do something like 40 houses in our first year, but our real, genuine aim is to do up 4,500 empty house in Liverpool and the quicker we can do that the better.”

YouTube: JMU Journalism

Housing Cabinet Member, Councillor Frank Hont, told JMU Journalism: “The city council welcomes any new initiative that complements the work we are already doing, and have been doing for five years, to tackle the problems caused by vacant properties in our communities. In fact we are working with Ronnie on this venture.”

In 2015, Liverpool City Council reopened applications for their homes for £1 scheme, which saw thousands of people applying to buy around 120 unloved houses.

“We have brought over 2,500 homes back into use since taking control of the council in 2010 and we hope Coming Home can help us to add to what we believe is an impressive achievement.”

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