The Council has a Housing Strategy that includes, amongst other things, bringing empty homes back into use where they have fallen into disrepair, the owners no longer live in them and they can be purchased by the Council and returned to a habitable state. Some of the properties are also ex-Council stock bought under the Right to Buy scheme where owners have been unable to maintain ownership. These are put into the Council’s Council Housing stock to reduce the waiting lists and increase the amount of affordable housing for families and single people in the city. The current position, not including houses that have completed the process fully, as at the end of August, has seen 8 houses purchased for just over £0.5m. There are a further 9 houses at a cost of £0.7m, where purchase has been agreed and they are in conveyance with the Council’s Legal Service. These costs include refurbishment and legal costs. A further 4 properties are in negotiation. The property types include one, two and three-bedroomed houses and one and two-bedroomed flats.
In addition to purchasing housing the Council has also purchased and converted two community centres into six three-bedroomed houses at a cost of £347k.