Background and business case
East Riding of Yorkshire Council covers approximately 930 square miles, making it one of the largest unitary authorities in the country. As such, there are a range of housing markets operating across the area, with some examples of market failure, particularly along the east coast. With almost 7,000 households on the Housing Register and very little private investment in these areas, the Council has stepped in by purchasing private properties on the open market, refurbishing them and adding to the Council’s stock to be rented to those in greatest need. The scheme will deliver 70 properties over three years (2018-21) with 25 of them being classed as empty homes (6 months+).
This scheme follows on from successful earlier Purchase & Repair grant funded programmes in 2012-15 and 2015-18. The properties acquired are predominantly in areas of higher demand areas across the East Riding where there is an identified need for that type and size of property.
The homes acquired are purchased with vacant possession and the combined cost of buying and bringing the properties up to a lettable condition must represent value for money for the Council. A large proportion of the homes acquired are ex-council that have been converted to private lets.
The Purchase & Repair / Empty Homes programme has strict limits as to how much can be spent on properties bringing them up to a lettable standard. In the case of the East Riding the upper repairs limits are £13k per property for Purchase & Repair and £20k for Empty Homes. Typically the improved properties will benefit from the installation of a new central heating system, a full rewire, new kitchen fittings and the replacement of bathroom white goods.