Eyesore removed as long-term empty home transformed
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A rundown property which has plagued a Staffordshire community for more than a decade has been transformed thanks to a partnership between Bromford and Lichfield District Council.
The derelict bungalow on Chase Road, Burntwood, has stood empty ever since the former owners passed away in 2002. No relatives came forward to start probate at the time which meant the home fell into a poor state of repair, creating an eyesore in the local area with overgrown gardens, cracked windows, boarded-up doors and faded paintwork.
Due to the detrimental affect it was having on neighbouring properties, the council sought permission to carry out a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to bring the property back into use. The bungalow was bought in October 2015 and then sold to Bromford so it could be transformed into an affordable home for a household in need.
An increasing number of housing providers and local authorities are joining forces to bring empty properties back into use amid a housing crisis which has revealed 250,000 homeless people across England. Despite the current housing shortage, there are still over 200,000 long-term empty homes in the UK which could be used as homes.
Bromford’s empty homes team and a range of subcontractors have now completed a 14-week refurbishment project, costing around £38,000, which included replacing the kitchen, bathroom, windows, chimney, driveway, fencing and gas connection as well as clearing the overgrown gardens. A family will move into the 2-bed property this month and a neighbourhood coach will build a relationship with them to help them use their new home as a springboard to achieve what they want out of life, as part of Bromford’s new localities approach.
Much-needed family home
Darrin Gamble, Bromford’s localities leader, said: “This is further evidence of the great partnership working between Bromford and Lichfield District Council and it is these kind of initiatives which we really need to help tackle the growing housing crisis across the West Midlands and beyond.
“We’re delighted to be able to bring this unoccupied property, which was for a long period an eyesore in the local area, back into use for a much-needed family home. The refurbishment has certainly helped create a better visual environment for the whole community.”
Cllr Colin Greatorex, Cabinet Member for Housing & Health at Lichfield District Council, said: “It’s always sad to see a property fall into a state of disrepair and this bungalow had become an eyesore for the local community. I am really pleased we were able to help bring it back into use through using our powers to apply for a compulsory purchase order.
“Bromford has done a great job refurbishing the bungalow and I am sure it will offer this family a lovely place to call home for years to come.”