Stoke-on-Trent City Council recognises that there are areas in the city where there are large concentrations of empty homes.
These areas are generally located where there are high levels of private rented accommodation.
These areas are identified as requiring major intervention, otherwise they will continue to decline. This will cause an increase in the number of empty homes as residents choose to leave the area in search of better quality housing in more stable communities. Those residents remaining in areas with large numbers of empty homes will continue to live in poor quality housing, as they are unable to secure accommodation elsewhere due to their social or financial position. This then creates a vicious circle of decline, creating higher levels of anti-social behaviour and crime, causing a greater decline in the area.
The council has identified two areas in Stoke-on-Trent which suffer from higher than average numbers of empty properties and are in decline;
- the Portland Street area of Hanley; and
- the Bond Street area of Tunstall.
The Council bid for £1.5 million from the Government’s Clusters of Empty Homes grant programme and were successful. The Council is also investing £1.5 million towards this programme as a condition of the Government grant.
The Clusters Programme offers the city council the opportunity to devote £3 million of investment into these areas and tackle the problem with a range of interventions. The overall aim of the council’s proposal is to bring 124 empty properties back into use which will stimulate the regeneration of the two communities and improve resident’s housing and health.