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Bournemouth council to join the property market by buying rundown homes
BOURNEMOUTH council is to venture into the property market – buying up rundown HMOs in Boscombe and converting them into self-contained flats.
A total of £825,000 is earmarked for the purchase of a small number of HMOs, along with £450,000 for refurbishment costs.
The scheme is part of a wider project to regenerate Bos-combe. Councillors believe that improving the quality of accommodation in Boscombe and, in particular, providing more family homes, is essential if the area is to be revitalised.
Once refurbished, the flats will be offered to people on the council’s housing waiting list.
It is expected most of the properties would be two-bedroom flats, although there will be a small number of one-bedroom properties. It will also help reduce the number of HMOs in Boscombe – a move supported by many residents. A report going to cabinet on Wednes-day will seek official approval. It reveals the council considered paying a housing association to redevelop the properties but rejected this in favour of retaining direct control.
Long-term, the properties will also generate a financial windfall, but it will have to wait at least 13 years to see a profit.
Recent research into Boscombe’s key housing issues revealed the area has a highly- transient population, with a third of residents living there for less than two years.
Half of all households occupy private rented accommodation, and 89 per cent occupy flats.
The council aims to reduce the number of empty homes through focused action and enforcement, working with owners to improve the quality of accommodation, increase levels of owner-occupation and reduce bedsits.
Cllr Rob Lawton, Bourne-mouth’s cabinet member for housing, said: “It’s all part of our policy to try and regenerate Boscombe. We believe there’s a need for family housing in the area and these properties will help meet that.
“Also there are concerns about the high concentration of HMOs in one area and we want to try and shift the balance a bit more towards family housing.”