A local family have just moved into a previously near derelict property in Alston Way, Worthing. This is possible thanks to the ongoing partnership between Worthing Borough Council, the Empty Property Assistance Programme and their grant and loan funding scheme.
A large 3-bedroom end-of-terrace house had been left empty following the enforced eviction of a tenant who had left the property in an appalling condition. The owners did not have the finances to carry out the extensive refurbishments to the property following the court action against their previous tenants and were in danger of losing the property.
However, after receiving a letter from Worthing Borough Council, the owners contacted the Council’s dedicated Empty Property Officer (EPO) Helen Stevens, who was able to advise and help them bring their property back onto the rental market and return it to a family home.
A schedule of works was then developed to refurbish the property up to the decent homes standard so that it could be let through the Council’s Guaranteed Rent Scheme. The scheme is run in partnership with Northwoods Letting Agency who offer a full management service for up to five years.
Renovations started on the project in March 2015 and finished on June 12th. The property is now being let at Local Housing Allowance rate to a local family that was in priority need for re-housing following the sale of their existing home by their private landlord. The Council’s Housing Options Team will have nomination rights to this property for the next five years as a condition of the funding they provided on this project.
Cllr Dr Heather Mercer, Executive Member for Customer Services at Worthing Borough Council, adds: “Adur & Worthing Council are fully committed to the Empty Property Assistance Programme and local residents, all in urgent need of affordable housing, are already benefiting from this scheme. Three other previously empty homes are also near completion. Such is the success of this scheme, we encourage other private landlords to contact our EPO and seek advice on how to turn their properties into homes.”
Other ongoing Empty Property Assistance renovations currently being carried out include a flat in Bedford Row, a large flat on Ambrose Place and a family home on Old Shoreham Road.
Information about the Empty Property Scheme can be seen on the Councils’ website: www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/housing