Corby to receive £1.8m to refurbish empty properties

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Corby is to receive £1.8m to give empty properties in the town a new lease of life.

Kettering will be awarded £266,000 and £40,000 is to go to East Northamptonshire.

The funding is part of a £7m payout to the East Midlands announced today (Thursday,June 20) by Communities Minister Don Foster.

Nationally £91m is being made available to refurbish 6,000 empty and derelict homes and commercial premises.

The funding will be spent on refurbishment in areas where empty properties have led to problems such as squatting, rat infestation and collapsing house prices, driving remaining residents away.

Mr Foster said: “The government is doing everything possible to tackle the problem of empty homes and urban blight. Today I’m announcing we’re going to do even more, with towns across England benefiting from £91m to refurbish over 6,000 empty properties to get them back into use. This will bring people, shops and jobs back to once abandoned areas, and provide extra affordable homes we so badly need.

“We have already made very good progress, cutting the number of long term empty homes by 40,000 but with thousands of people in this country desperate to buy a home and areas still suffering problems of urban blight we must go further still.”

The funding is being allocated under two programmes, with £61m from the second round of the empty homes funding programme, provided to successful bidders eligible from all areas across England with empty homes.

Around two thirds of this (£41m) is allocated by the Homes and Communities Agency to registered social landlords, with and the remaining money to community and voluntary groups. Together the 187 successful organisations will bring around 3,200 extra homes back into use.

A further £30m will be available for second year award of Clusters of Empty Homes programme funding for 20 partnerships in areas of acute problems such as Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Middlesbrough, which will bring around 3,500 homes back into use.

Andy Rose, Homes and Communities Agency chief executive, said: “We had a very encouraging response to the funding across a wide range of types of property. This demonstrates a strong appetite and scope for bringing empty homes and properties back into use, which will help to reinvigorate our communities and towns. We look forward to working with housing providers to bring these homes forward.”