Run-down property transformed in to new home for homeless

A RUN-DOWN empty property has been brought back to life to house six homeless residents.

Corby Council, a private landlord and a charity and lettings agency LiveWise Housing worked together to transform a property in Ripley Walk, Corby.

The project began when a private investor purchased the property and worked with LiveWise to turn the unused house into a safe and secure new base for tenants identified by Corby Council as having no fixed address.

The transformation of number 97 was complete in just 10 weeks.

LiveWise will now be working with the tenants to provide tenancy support services, education and training and employment opportunities.

Property owner, Kelly Lemon, said: “It’s a win-win situation. I feel that I have been able to contribute to solving the county’s housing needs, at the same time as securing a guaranteed income from my property.”

One of the tenants of the property in Ripley Walk, said: “We now have a fresh start and a chance to take a new direction in life. Without schemes like this, we’re not sure that would be the case.”

Cllr Tom Beattie, leader of Corby Council, said: “Although people may not be identified as homeless there are some out there that are ‘sofa surfing’ and need help in finding a fixed address. We are very pleased to be able to work with partners on addressing this issue and helping to provide this innovative way to get people back in to decent, affordable, housing.

“As a local authority this project has helped not only to provide housing to those that need it but it has also contributed to tackling another private, long-term empty property and getting it back in to use.

The property is now a fully licensed House of Multiple Occupation and meets both Corby Council regulations and is compliant with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

On completion of the project, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, fire protection officer, Dave Mitchell, said: “The service fully supports this initiative. It is an excellent example of partnership working providing safer premises and a safer community we would encourage all HMO landlords to follow this example.”

Jonathan Chapman, managing director of LiveWise Housing, said: “We are delighted to continue our working partnership with Corby Borough Council in providing some of the highest quality Houses with Multiple Occupation. We are particularly pleased with this project as it is a great example of a high quality HMO that meets all regulations.”