Sunderland empty property blackspots get £600,000 boost

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MORE than £600,000 has been set aside to help tackle the problem of empty properties on Wearside.

Sunderland City Council is one of 20 authorities across the country that will receive funds to tackle clusters of empty homes.

The money will be given to the council to be used to bring back into use 105 empty dwellings in specific areas of the city.

These areas include Hendon, Millfield, Sulgrave and properties just north of the Wearmouth Bridge.

Government Communities Minister Andrew Stunell said: “The number of empty homes in this country is a national disgrace.

“For every two families that need a home, there is one standing empty.

“Empty homes bring down a neighbourhood and attract vandals and fly-tipping, as well as being a waste of much-needed housing.

“I’m delighted to announce this funding boost that will allow councils and community groups to bring these houses back to life and offer families a chance of a stable and secure home.

“We need to do much more to tackle this problem.

“This Government is breathing life back into these neglected neighbourhoods.”

The Government has said by returning properties into use and providing families with much needed homes, neighbourhoods can be regenerated.

Sunderland City Council portfolio holder for housing Councillor Graeme Miller said: “Empty homes is a national problem which the council is committed to tackling.

“Last year, we successfully returned 460 empty, private properties to use through intervention from the city council and will work hard to maintain this momentum.

“We obviously welcome this additional funding, which will add to the resources available to our Empty Property Action Plan 2012-2013, which aims to return 407 private empty properties back into use.

“As part of our strategy to achieve this we already have designated Empty Properties Offices in each area of city and have identified ‘cluster areas’ of communities which are the worst affected.”

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