Kettering Council converts empty units into housing as part of Hidden Homes project

Kettering Council has converted two more empty units into one bedroom flats as part of their '˜Hidden Homes' project.

Tuesday, 16th August 2016, 12:06 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:13 pm
Cllr Burton officially opens one of the new properties.

The new properties - a redundant housing office and training suite - have been fully refurbished and will provide warm, secure and affordable homes for local people who are looking for a home of their own.

The flats, in Barnes Close on the Highfield Road Estate, are the fourth and fifth properties to be developed as part of the council’s ‘Hidden Homes’ project, which aims to convert redundant or underutilised space on council estates at minimal cost into badly-needed new homes.

The unveiling comes just two weeks over rival councillors clashed over how the authority was dealing with a homelessness problem.

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As well as creating new housing for local residents, Hidden Homes helps the council to improve the environment and makes housing estates more attractive.

The project also provides an opportunity to build new homes for people with poor mobility, while the increased rental income is invested in better services for tenants.

John Conway, head of housing at Kettering Council, said: “Hidden Homes is just one aspect of the council’s strategy for increasing the supply of affordable rented housing.

“As well as creating the five hidden homes on existing council estates, we have purchased eight long-term empty homes to add to the council’s housing stock and are building five new council houses for people with special needs.

“In addition, we are working with housing associations to build another 130 new homes this year.”

Marking the completion of the flats Cllr James Burton, Kettering Council’s portfolio holder for housing, said: “At a time when homelessness across the country is rising, Hidden Homes shows how the council is working hard to help local people find a place to call home.

“It’s a real challenge to meet the demand for housing but this scheme is a really cost-effective way to create new homes.”