Empty properties to be new homes for locals

Two dilapidated properties are to be turned into affordable homes that can be rented by local people, thanks to a decision by Lib Dem Cabinet Members.

The properties, 1-3 Angerstein Road, are owned by Portsmouth City Council. They were once used by a domestic abuse charity, but have been vacant for months and were at risk of falling into disrepair.

But now, they are to be handed to a local organisation who will be able to renovate them and convert them into modern flats or houses, depending on what local people need.

The decision to carry out the handover was made by Portsmouth City Council's Lib Dem Cabinet Member for Resources, Councillor Jeanette Smith, who also represents Baffins Ward.

The premises will be transferred, at a peppercorn rent, to Portsmouth Community Housing Trust, a new group focused on providing homes for local people at a social rent level they can afford. Although the council will still own the properties, it will not need to fund any of the repair works.

Councillor Jeanette Smith said: "It's a priority for the Lib Dem council to make sure there are more good quality homes that local people can afford. The plan for the Angerstein Road properties is a chance to provide some new housing in an imaginative way, without any extra outlay from the council.”

Cllr Smith said she hoped this could spark a city-wide push for more social housing.

Portsmouth’s Lib Dem Cabinet member for Housing, Councillor Darren Sanders, who also represents Baffins Ward added, "People across the city want the council to use empty properties for those who need homes. Community-led housing has worked elsewhere and I know it will work here."

Canon Bob White, the chair of Portsmouth Community Housing Trust, said: "We are delighted at this opportunity to develop these properties and help restore them to offer housing to those most in need in our city. The Housing Trust is a new charity which seeks to serve those in need of housing in our community and we hope these two properties will be the first of many."

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