Housing charity Keyhouse brings empty homes in Keighley back into use (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Housing charity Keyhouse brings empty homes in Keighley back into use
9:00am Thursday 28th February 2013 in News
A housing charity is ready to bring Keighley’s empty and derelict homes back into use for the people who need them most.
Keyhouse has nailed down leases for 25 properties throughout the town, some of which have been empty for as long as 15 years.
With the Bradford district hit by rising housing waiting lists and stalled building projects, the charity thinks this is the perfect way to provide homes quickly and on affordable rents.
The properties include houses owned by landlords who cannot afford to fix them up to a decent standard, or inherited properties that family members may not want to take on.
Keyhouse has run a hostel in the town since 1985 and has advice centres in Keighley and Bradford for people struggling to find housing. With this project it has turned its attention to the growing number of families and people looking for a home, but facing costly mortgages and rising waiting lists.
Last year the organisation was awarded £260,000 of government funding to get the scheme up and running, meaning it can spend up to £11,000 on each of the properties. It hopes to have four sorted by April, followed by 11 next financial year and ten the year after that, and could have houses ready for people to move in just three months after taking on the leases.
Although it does not have the cash to renovate some of the town’s worst properties, almost every house it sets its sites on has been empty for two years.
Once refurbished, they will be rented to people on low incomes who have trouble getting on the property ladder.
Graham Mynott, head of Keyhouse, said: “The houses we have in place are mostly two-bed and mostly terrace houses, but there is quite a lot of variety.
“Some of the properties are empty because someone has died, others because someone has gone into a home and their children can’t afford to do anything with the properties.
“Others might belong to landlords who have run out of money to maintain them.”