An ambitious project to regenerate areas with empty housing which faced demolition has moved closer to completion, with the new residents having their first chance to view their new homes this week.
The scheme which offered local residents the chance to purchase homes for £1, was given £1.5 million funding from the clusters of empty homes programme, and a further £1.5m by the council, and aims to regenerate 124 properties in the Rutland Street and Bond street areas, with the new owners taking out a loan of £30,000 to refurbish their properties.
For many of the new residents, including local bus driver Lawrence Poxon, the scheme represents their only chance to get onto the property ladder.
Another new owner, Rachel Roberts, plans to be in her property by the end of March. With both her great grandparents and father having lived on the adjoining streets, the scheme has given her the chance to own her own home in her local area. Rachel commented
"At first it sounded too good to be true. It always seems like there's going to be a catch, but there isn't.”
A Stoke-on-Trent City Council spokesman confirmed 20 of the houses had now been signed over, with the new residents due to move in next spring.