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Empty to Plenty to address unoccupied homes in Manchester

A new initiative has been launched in Greater Manchester that aims to tackle the issue of unoccupied homes across the district.

The Empty to Plenty campaign is being delivered by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities in partnership with a number of local housing associations.

A £30 million investment has been made in the project so far, with all ten of the Greater Manchester borough councils signing up to take part.

It offers a range of options for owners of empty properties across the district, including the lease and repair or sale of rundown homes to local housing associations.

Lease and repair enables the holder to retain overall ownership of the property, with association taking on rights to fill the property for a minimum of six years. This has the benefit of guaranteeing tenants for the building for the foreseeable future, delivering long-standing rental income.

Meanwhile, sale options means owners have the chance to ensure they are receiving a fair market price for the building from a reputable buyer, while also avoiding incurring any potential estate agent selling fees that would applicable to a private sale.

In both cases, the housing association would take on the costs of the renovation of all homes taking part in the scheme, helping to boost the appeal of an area, as well as bringing thousands of currently empty buildings back into full-time use.

Overall, there are approximately 25,000 properties across the Greater Manchester area that have been unoccupied for six months or more and this latest initiative hopes to significantly bring down this number over the coming months.

Councillor Kieran Quinn, executive leader at Tameside Council, said: “There are close to a 1,000 unoccupied homes in the borough and we are committed to supporting people who are concerned about being an empty property owner.

“We know there are diverse reasons why homes remain empty. It could be that owners have inherited a property, or that they bought it as an investment and the current economic climate means they can’t afford to do it up for sale or rent it out.”

The issue of unoccupied homes is one being keenly felt across many parts of the country at present – something the government is extremely eager to address.

Delivering new developments forms a key part of the coalition’s drive to improve access to residential property for Brits struggling to get a foot on the housing ladder at present, but the refurbishment of existing housing stock is equally as beneficial.

Long-term empty homes can also be a blight on communities, as should they fall into a state of disrepair this can often have a knock-on effect on the value of surrounding properties in an area.

Here at GSI Insurance Services (Southern) Limited, our expert members of staff pride themselves on helping individuals planning to leave their property empty for 30 days or more with comprehensive unoccupied building insurance to meet their needs.

Furthermore, empty home insurance policies can be transformed back to a standard home insurance deal should owners find a tenant or wish to move in themselves with just a single phone call.

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