Plea made for empty Keighley properties

Keighley News: Dave Gibson stands outside the Beechcliffe property that is the latest on the list for renovation by Keyhouse Dave Gibson stands outside the Beechcliffe property that is the latest on the list for renovation by Keyhouse

A second wave of Keighley homes will soon be ready for affordable rent as part of a government-funded £260,000 scheme.

Once renovation work is complete, a total of ten derelict houses will have been brought back into use across the town.

Organisers of the scheme are now seeking a third set of house owners willing to allow their properties to be rented out.

Housing agency Key-house hopes eventually to build a portfolio of 25 rented houses that would otherwise have laid empty.

Keyhouse is using the government cash to bring each house up to habitable standard, then rent out to single people and families on low incomes.

Owners hand control of their property to Keyhouse for at least five years, and in return receive a share of the rent and have all the repairs paid for.

The aim is to reduce the number of empty houses in Keighley, while meeting the growing need for affordable homes.

Keyhouse’s empty homes worker, David Gibson, said the scheme – funded through the Empty Homes Community Grants Prog-ramme – is running successfully in areas including Beechliffe, Oakworth, Long Lee and central Keighley.

He added: “We’ve completed five houses and have tenants in – we’re on site with three more at the moment and there are two in the pipeline.

“We are looking at about three months to turn round each property. In the early part of next year, we need to find a lot more houses.”

Mr Gibson said the scheme was ideal for people who had inherited a house they did not need, or people who do not have the money to refurbish an empty house themselves.

He added: “Some people don’t want to lose the house, but they can’t afford the upkeep or don’t want the hassle.”

Keyhouse manages 50 houses across the district – about half of them in Keighley – as well as providing support and advice to its younger tenants.

Contact Mr Gibson on 01535 211311 or e-mail david.gibson@keyhouse. co.uk for details.

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