Empty homes targeted by Northampton Borough Council

More than 100 empty homes in Northampton are to be brought back into use as affordable housing.

To qualify, properties need to have been privately owned and vacant for more than six months.

The scheme will be funded by a £1.9m government grant which is part of the national £100m Empty Homes Programme.

The houses will be allocated to people who need accommodation on the council's housing register and it is hoped the scheme will improve run-down areas.

Northampton Borough Council is identifying the 105 properties suitable for the scheme from the 900 empty houses in the town.

A council spokesperson said that once finished, rents will be set according to the government's new affordable homes programme at 80% of market fees.

It is anticipated that the rental income generated will eventually be ploughed back into developing the scheme further and bringing more empty properties back to use, the council said.

Councillor Mary Markham, cabinet member for housing, said: "This is a real opportunity for Northampton Borough Council, not only to help those families in housing need, but also to improve the areas of the town where these empty properties have attracted anti-social behaviour or present a negative image of a street or neighbourhood."

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