Empty Homes Week 2019 launches nationally today and Rotherham Council is highlighting the support on offer to property owners who have a long term empty property.
Over the past two years there has been a 1.98% increase in the number of empty properties in Rotherham, while this is much lower than the national figure of 5% there are currently 3,350 empty homes with the majority of these being empty for less than 6 months.
The Council works with private owners to bring empty homes back into use and maintain properties whilst they are empty, ensuring that empty houses are well kept and do not pose a risk to public health, and are committed to increasing capacity to work with more to ensure they are making the best use of the housing in the borough.
National charity, Action on Empty Homes, say that the number of empty homes has grown nationally by 5% in the last two years, the fastest rise in a decade with 600,000 homes now vacant. The number of long-term (more than six months) empty homes in England now stands at over 216,000.
Cllr Dominic Beck, Cabinet Member for Housing at Rotherham Council, said: “During Empty Homes Week 2019, we are highlighting the work we do to support individuals and communities who have problems with vacant houses. We understand that there are a number of reasons why a home may become empty and unloved, such as financial difficulties, a change in situation or changes in health and care, but we want to work with empty home owners to make sure they maximise the use out of their properties.
“With increasing demand for housing across the borough, we want to do our best to make sure that residents have a choice of private and social housing opportunities available and by cutting the number of empty houses will make a positive difference.”
Published Monday, 4th February 2019
A dozen site-ready bungalows will be making their way to Rotherham as part of an exciting new pilot project approved by Rotherham Council today.
Designed for older residents and people with additional needs, the bungalows are built using alternative modern methods of construction. These include elements being erected from factory made frames, panels or sections to whole buildings being lowered onto site.
Benefits of modern methods of construction are speed – up to 50 per cent faster than traditional builds and minimal impact and disruption, with typically 80 per cent of the construction work taking place off-site.
Construction is planned to start in July with homes available for people to move into before Christmas.
Eight of the new homes will be delivered to Symonds Avenue, Rawmarsh and two each in Hounsfield Crescent, and Housefield Road, East Herringthorpe.
Cllr Dominic Beck, Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “The housing industry is recognising the potential offsite manufacturing holds for the housing market.
“As a modern and efficient council we want to ensure we look at all possible options to deliver inspiring, energy-efficient homes for families across the borough. Our mission is to build better homes and build them in a better way.”
The project is part of the Council’s Housing Strategy to see 900 new homes built in the borough.
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New Rother Living homes available in Maltby
Rother Living homes are now available in Maltby as part of the latest major housing development from Rotherham Council, offering high quality and affordable homes in the borough.
The first Rother Living show homes on site will open on Saturday 13 October allowing potential buyers the chance to see for themselves the quality on offer and make their reservations. More than 100 people have already expressed interest in the Northgate development off Braithwell Road in Maltby.
Prices for the three bedroom semi-detached homes at Northgate start from just £160,000 and prices for other house styles are available on request. Help to Buy is available on all properties.
Once completed there will be 98 properties on the Northgate site – 83 of which will be for open market sale and 15 shared ownership apartments for older people.
The Northgate development is part of a £29million investment by Rotherham Council to construct new properties at a number of sites across the borough, with a mixture of houses for sale, rent and shared ownership The Council has appointed Wates Residential North to carry out the developments.
Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Dominic Beck, said: “It’s fantastic that people will now be able to get a real feel of what these new properties will be like with the opening of the Rother Living show homes at Northgate.
“We want ensure that local people and those people from outside the borough have access to high quality affordable homes.
“Seeing the Northgate development take shape is an exciting step forward and forms part of the Council’s plans to regenerate the borough making it a place where people want to live, work and spend their leisure time.”
Richard Shroll, Managing Director of Wates Residential North, said: “The opening of the new show homes in Maltby is a fantastic milestone that demonstrates the excellent progress being made through our partnership with Rotherham Council to deliver these exceptional new homes.
“There is a growing local appetite for high quality affordable homes, and I have no doubt that Northgate will go some way to catering for this. We are very much looking forward to building on the success and continuing our role in the regeneration of Rotherham.”
William H Brown the local estate agency, who will lead on the sales of the new homes, will be on hand at the launch event that will give prospective buyers the first chance to experience the development as well as provide the opportunity to be first to place a reservation to secure one of the new homes.
Gary Rogers, William H Brown’s, New Homes Manager said:
“There is a lot of anticipation around Northgate and so we look forward to welcoming customers to our launch event, showcasing these fantastic Rother Living family homes for the first time. “The new development provides the perfect setting for family living – set in a close knit community and sitting alongside local amenities and transport links - and we expect significant demand for the homes.
“Our William H Brown team will be on hand to assist with any customer queries on the day and with building work soon to finish and first completions expected before the end of the year, customers could be in a new home before Christmas,” continued Gary. “What better Christmas gift to give to yourself!”
Plans to build more affordable homes, some of which could be brought on site ready-made, are set to be looked at by Rotherham Council.
The Council is looking to build around 12 bungalows for older people through a pilot to test alternative modern construction methods.
This could include elements of off-site construction, ranging from buildings being erected from factory made frames, panels or sections to whole buildings being lowered onto site.
The brief will be left open with a view to getting the widest possible range of options to consider from manufacturing and building companies.
Council leaders are also looking at plans to sell some small sites to local developers to enable the building of a further 22 affordable homes in key areas across the borough. Together this will create 34 new affordable homes to be allocated through the Council housing process, supporting the Sheffield City Region (SCR) approach to using surplus public sector land.
Cllr Dominic Beck, Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “The housing industry is recognising the potential offsite manufacturing holds for the housing market. As a modern and efficient council we want to ensure we look at all possible options to deliver inspiring, energy-efficient homes for families across the borough. Our mission is to build better homes and build them in a better way.
“We also want to ensure there are enough affordable homes so families can stay in the borough or to entice new people to move to Rotherham.”
The funding for the pilot modern construction homes is expected to come from the Council Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and an application has been made to Sheffield City Region’s pilot Housing Fund £500K of grant funding. This is currently being assessed with a view to seeking approval from the Sheffield City Region’s Housing Investment Board later this summer.
Colin Blackburn, SCR Assistant Director for Housing Infrastructure and Planning, added: “There is a national housing shortage across the UK, including here in Sheffield City Region. We welcome the local authority’s approach to delivering additional new homes through innovative and efficient ways of building, which will provide high quality, desirable properties in local communities at affordable prices.”
It is anticipated that employment opportunities will be created through the scheme, as the construction of offsite homes and delivery on-site offers the chance for a variety of new roles within the construction sector.
The plans are to be looked at by Rotherham Council’s Cabinet at its meeting in July.