In 2012, the City Council successfully bid for £1.9 million of funding from our Empty Homes fund to restore and refurbish 114 rundown empty homes in the area. Under the terms of this scheme, the Council will match the funding value (taking the total investment to £3.8 million). I understand that the programme is on course to meet its delivery targets by March 2015. I understand that there is a potential private partnership to help build 92 new homes in the area by 2016.
However, the picture under the last Administration is less clear-cut. In 2004, the Council was awarded £11.9 million of funding to regenerate this area. The development plans then stalled and were scaled down. The Council subsequently returned £4 million of unspent funding to the Homes and Communities Agency. However, the net outcome under the last Administration, was £7.8 million of public spending (offset by just £789,000 of income from property sales) to make just 47 homes structurally safe. Serious questions need to be asked about whether this represents value for money.