DIY and Get a Cheaper Home

New scheme to bring empty homes back into use

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Unemployed young people in Ealing will be offered the chance to “earn” the right to a home by helping to renovate rundown empty properties which they can then move into on a subsidised rent.

The pilot scheme, announced at last night’s Cabinet meeting, would give young people who are not in work or training, the chance to learn a trade while helping to build their own home.

It is estimated that some 1,200 properties in the borough have been vacant for more than 12 months. Under the scheme the council would target the owners of derelict properties and encourage them to work with the council to bring them back into use.

Young people whose families are on the waiting list for affordable housing would learn a trade, such as plumbing or carpentry, while working on the project. Once complete they would get the opportunity to move into the home at an affordable rent.

All the apprenticeships would be completed with the assistance of an approved college and the young people would work towards a recognised qualification. Grant funding for the pilot project is available from the Mayor of London.

Cabinet member for Housing, Councillor Will Brooks, said, ”We are trying to help people to help themselves and this is a great way of getting young people off benefits and into work. This will allow young people to develop skills that will hopefully help them to earn a living for a lifetime. As well as creating more affordable homes, which the borough desperately needs, it also has the added benefit of getting rid of the derelict properties which can be an eyesore and a magnet for anti-social behaviour.”

Plans for the project were agreed by the Cabinet last night as part of the borough’s new Empty Property Strategy. All Cabinet decisions are subject to call in for a period of five working days from the date of publication of the minutes of the meeting.


January 26th, 2010