Innovative partnership brings flats back into use

Wed 13 February 2013, 7:32 pm

Derelict flats in Dagenham have become the capital's first properties to be brought back into use through the government's Empty Homes Community Grants Programme.

Barking & Dagenham Council has joined forces with charity Southwark Habitat for Humanity (SHfH) to renovate the three properties in Broad Street, which will be managed by Genesis Housing Association.

The homes, which had been empty for eight years, will now be rented out to tenants from Barking & Dagenham's waiting list, but the regeneration deal will see SHfH keep the next seven years' worth of rental income to recoup its renovation costs.

After that, the homes will revert to the authority.

Barking & Dagenham said the renovation work had seen the homes stripped to their shells and completely refitted, including the addition of new roofs, floors, and ceilings, and new central heating systems.

Cabinet member for housing, Councillor Phil Walker, said the project had proved to be an innovative way to provide high-quality renovation work in a cost-effective way.

"Three families will now have a great place to live, and the council will be able to make use of the homes for many years to come," he said.

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