Blackpool Council’s trail-blazing housing company is in line for a £41m boost. It aims to accelerate an ambitious programme to rejuvenate the town’s property market with better housing in Blackpool.
Better Housing in Blackpool
Since it was established three years ago, Blackpool Housing Company has purchased more than 100 properties. It targets redundant, end-of-life or poor-quality hotels, guest houses and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). They’ve been converted into around 300 high-quality, affordable homes for rent.
Some of the projects already undertaken have been widely praised for the sheer quality of the improvement works. Conversions of problematic properties, for example in Albert Road, have had a positive regenerative impact on the local community.
Places to put down roots
The housing company was launched with an initial funding pot of £27m, secured through the Lancashire Growth Deal, with the aim of dramatically improving private sector housing standards across the resort. The aim was to create the kind of affordable homes in which individuals and families would want to put down roots.
Properties that have already been acquired and renovated have been let under the brand of My Blackpool Home. There’s a wide range of accommodation options for rental, suitable for families, couples and single people.
More Cash to Buy Up Poor Properties
At the current rate of delivery, the initial funding is forecast to run out during the second half of 2019.
Now the Council’s Executive Committee will meet on Monday 25 February to discuss increasing the funding by a further £41m. That will enable the company to quicken the pace of change, with a target of delivering almost 1000 quality new homes by 2025.
Cllr Christine Wright, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “The physical difference that the housing company has made is clear for everyone to see on schemes such as Albert Road, Kirby Road and Park Road.
Making a real difference
“It’s harder to judge the social aspects but even at this early stage we can see that it is making a real difference to levels of transience. The evidence shows that access to a quality rented home is enabling hundreds of individuals and families to settle their lives in a very positive way. This, in turn, reduces demand on other council services.”
Cllr Jim Hobson, Chair of the Board of Blackpool Housing Company, said: “We’re aiming at establishing a market presence as ‘Landlord of Choice’. Blackpool Council’s innovative housing company is challenging the dominance of existing poor standard, small rented flats. Their property portfolio is affordable, fresh and offers a mix of homes attractive to all local residents and family sizes.”
Making Money for Blackpool Council
If approved, the £40.8 million will be borrowed by Blackpool Council. It’s loaned to Blackpool Housing Company at a commercial rate. The rental income generated through the lettings is used to pay back the loan.
The housing company operates on a commercial footing. It’s independent from the council with its own board of directors.
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