Norfolk

Great Yarmouth rundown housing to be bought by council

Great Yarmouth Image copyright Google
Image caption Labour said it hoped the policy would inspire private landlords to "up the standards themselves"

A £2m scheme that will let a council buy rundown bedsits and guest houses and renovate them has been approved.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council has granted officers the power to purchase guesthouses and houses in multiple occupation (HMO).

It hopes the pilot scheme will help drive up living standards in the area.

Councillors have been told that over 30 years the project would be cost-neutral.

The council has agreed to set the money aside from its budget for the pilot, said the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

It will see it purchase and renovate properties in the area, with a view to either selling them on, renting them out or adding them to the council's social housing portfolio.

'Shape communities'

The scheme, which was agreed by the council's policy and resources committee last month, was rubber-stamped by the full council on Tuesday.

A report to the council said the authority could "play an active role in shaping the nature of residential communities in the town centre... rather than simply leaving this to the open market".

Graham Plant, Conservative leader of the council, said: "We do know there are problems with some accommodation in town and hopefully this policy will help clean it up.

"There are certain minimum standards for accommodation and if they are not being met then we have a fund to be able to turn that around."

The opposition Labour group has also supported the policy, voting it through.

Leader of the council's Labour group, Trevor Wainwright, said: "We hope by saying we can do this, the landlords will up the standards themselves."

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