White Swan refurb leads the way in Empty Homes Week

22 Nov 2013 @ 3.14 pm
| News

Issued by City of York Council

Work supported by City of York Council to help regenerate a prominent unused building in the city centre has begun, as contractors have started to strip out The White Swan Hotel.

The council is backing the redevelopment and a £450,000 grant from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) Empty Homes 2 programme is helping to create new accommodation including 18 affordable homes plus new ground floor retail units in the city’s central shopping area.

City of York Council hopes this project is the first of many. Recent research carried out by the North East Civic Trust on behalf of the council has identified the potential for hundreds of new homes in unused spaces above shops and offices in central York.

With Tees Valley Housing and local affordable housing experts CoHo Ltd, the council is moving forward to identify specific opportunities for new housing in the city centre over the next 18 months, and is asking local landlords and agents to come forward to discuss and realise new schemes.

Cllr Tracey Simpson-Laing said: “We’re delighted to see progress at the White Swan. We ask anyone considering creating homes in existing, unused building to contact us so we can work together to bring much-needed, good quality homes and generate new income streams from rent.

“In addition, an increased residential presence can help diversify the city centre economy, reduce car dependence and reinvigorate the centre of York: tangible benefits which the study deems possible.”

Richard Panter, Area Manager at the Homes and Communities Agency said: “It is great news that our investment will not only mean that there will be 18 new homes, but will also help maintain the life of the city centre by bringing empty spaces back into use.

“City of York Council, Tees Valley Housing and CoHo are partners we have worked with before and they will ensure that these properties are turned into homes that anyone would want to live in.”

Jimm Reed of CoHo, said: “We have funding available right now for conversion works. We just need to get the message out there to agents and landlords that these unused spaces can be used.

“It is not just about shop owners directly profiting from having an income from that space upstairs, it is also about maintaining the vitality of the High Street in the long term; city living is an important part of the mosaic of the city centre of the future.”

Do you own or manage property in the centre of York? Would you like to know more about the Empty Homes scheme and how you could access funding? If so, contact Jimm Reed at CoHo on 07730 780686 or click here to email him.


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