Home comfort gives helping hand to buyers

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MORE then 25 empty properties in Wigan are set to be transformed into affordable housing thanks to a major cash boost.

Wigan Council has been awarded £300,000 to bring buildings currently standing empty back into use.

The money will attract an additional £600,000 private sector investment and there is a possibility the grant will increase if the scheme is judged a success.

The scheme was designed to eradicate problems associated with derelict homes such as damage to neighbouring properties and pest infestations.

Coun Chris Ready, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “The funding will help us bring a new lease of life to properties that have stood empty for some time.

“Derelict buildings can often create problems in our communities so it’s great we’ll be able to deal with some of them and at the same time address our housing shortfall.”

Wigan Council has been working hard to reduce the problem of empty private homes as part of its Core Strategy, recently pledging that at least one in four new houses being built on sites in the borough would consist of 10 or more properties priced to allow low-earners on to the property ladder.

Other initiatives include a leasing scheme, enforcement action and the use of Compulsory Purchase Orders.

This latest scheme comes as the council works towards meeting its ambitious home-building programme.

More than 170 new council homes have been built or are under construction with plans for a further 250 in the coming years.