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Northern Ireland Housing Minister Nelson McCausland has given the go ahead for a pilot project to target empty homes

The Minister said: “The wastefulness of empty homes is an issue I hear raised time and time again. I recognise the opportunity to bring these homes back to use both in terms of providing housing, enhancing neighbourhoods and removing magnets for anti-social behaviour and sources of blight.

"This pilot exercise will help to investigate the possibilities and test the merits and effectiveness of various approaches. It will examine what is available in terms of advice and signposting to practical help such as grants and loans, and what enforcement powers exist.”

The pilot areas are Fortwilliam and Upper Newtownards Road in Belfast. Work will be carried out by the Housing Executive with the relevant interventions identified by April 2012, and any necessary actions planned. The results will be used to inform a new empty homes action plan for Northern Ireland.

The Minister continued: “I am determined to maximise all opportunities to meet housing need, reduce blight and tackle anti social behaviour and I will soon be announcing a new strategy for housing which will set out how we move forward to meet the needs of a 21st century population.”

Written by Scott Buckler
Monday, 19 March 2012 12:12

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