A project to transform an ‘eyesore’ Grimsby property into a modern family home has won North East Lincolnshire Council and its regeneration partner EQUANS two national housing awards.
The joint EQUANS and Council Empty Homes Team were winners of the Best ‘Before-and-After’ Photos and the Innovation categories at the national Empty Homes Network awards. The latter highlights innovative thinking by the team in dealing with difficult, long-term empty homes.
Judges heard how local charity Doorstep, which provides housing and support for young people to lead a settled way of life, was supported to buy the property as part of its housing project – a sale secured at a reduced price. Antisocial behaviour and fly tipping for more than five years had seen the home fall into an ‘extremely poor state’.
To support the charity and ensure that the project was viable, Doorstep was offered an Empty Homes grant. This helped them make the purchase with enough funds to enable improvement works to take place. The result is a refurbished premises which is now a high-quality home occupied by a local family.
A Doorstep spokesperson praised the project: “We now have a tenant and their child living at the property, it has enabled the tenant to live in an area near her family to maintain support networks and to live in a community she is familiar with.
“For us it is a double positive as we were able to bring an eyesore of a long-term empty property back into use and to provide an excellent quality home for a young person in housing need,” they added.
Cllr Philip Jackson, North East Lincolnshire Council Leader with portfolio holder responsibilities for housing, is also delighted: “This is an ideal example of how we can start to make a change in places where it is most needed – partnering with organisations to improve the environment, and importantly providing a safe and happy home for a young family. Children and young families are our future and a priority must be to help provide safe environments for them to live in. I would like to congratulate the team and Doorstep,” he said.