Housing project brings 86 homes back to life

Futures Homescape
Futures Homescape

A three-year project led by a Ripley housing association has brought 86 empty properties back in to use as quality affordable housing to help ease the housing crisis.

Empty buildings in Langley Mill, Heanor, Alfreton, Somercotes, Marehay, Codnor, Kilburn, Bullbridge, Ilkeston, Long Eaton and Belper, have all been transformed into modern, affordable housing for those struggling to afford to buy a house or pay rent in the private sector.

Futures Homescape, on Asher Lane, created the new homes with around £1m of funding from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

Futures also worked alongside Amber Valley Borough Council and Erewash Borough Council to complete the project.

Figures from the National Housing Federation show that there is more than 4,500 empty properties in Derbyshire, which could all be refurbished to help ease the housing crisis.

Across the county, it is estimated that an annual average household income of £37,000 is needed to buy a home. Currently, the average in the county is £25,000.

Emma Lindley, private rented sector coordinator at Futures, has driven the empty homes project for the organisation.

She said: “We’ve used 50 per cent less grant money to bring these empty properties back into use than it would have taken to build brand new homes - incredible value for money in just three years.” The average cost of bringing each of properties back into use as an affordable home is just over £11,000. Emma added: “Some of these properties have been empty for around 14 years, taking up space and collecting zero council tax. By bringing them back into use we’ve created much needed housing and increased revenue for local authorities.”