Cabinet members to discuss the purchase and repair of empty properties using Section 106 funding

Cabinet members will be asked to approve a purchase and repair scheme of empty properties at their next meeting on Wednesday 13 November. The project will be run by Barnsley Council’s Housing and Energy team and Berneslai Home’s Investment and Regeneration Team.

The cabinet report seeks to approve the use of Section 106 money to partially fund the project. Section 106 funding is money that developers pay to the council to reduce the impact of development. Developers sign a legal S106 agreement as part of their planning permission that specifies how and where the money is spent. The money can fund projects that improve community facilities, education and provide affordable housing.

This project will be part of the existing Empty Homes Programme, where the owners of empty properties are helped by the council to bring them back into use as much needed family homes. Since April 2018 over 300 properties have been brought back into use.

The project will be overseen by Berneslai Homes who already successfully deliver an empty homes purchase and repair programme, where properties are bought, repaired and brought into the council’s housing stock. Barnsley Council will oversee the proposed programme, and Berneslai Homes will purchase properties, procure partner organisations and manage the delivery of work.

Under the scheme empty properties will be purchased and repaired to the Barnsley Home Standard. This will not only reduce the number of long-term empty properties in the borough, but it will increase the number of quality council housing for potential tenants.

As part of the programme, Berneslai Homes will partner with organisations that have a strong emphasis on building skills for trainees and apprentices. This means that local people will develop skills and improve their employability.

Councillor Tim Cheetham, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “Our Empty Homes team helps landlords, residents and the wider borough in making sure our housing is put to best use. This programme is a great opportunity to work with Berneslai Homes to continue reducing the number of long-term empty properties.”

Berneslai Homes Director of Assets, Regeneration and Construction, Stephen Davis adds: “We are pleased to be supporting the Council to further reduce the number of private sector empty homes in the borough and increase the supply of Council Homes for rent.”

This news is linked to Town Spirit, our new way of working better together. We believe, that if everyone in Barnsley does just one thing, we can make our borough a more welcoming place to live, work, invest and visit.

This theme doesn’t just link to the town centre regeneration; it covers all the things we do to provide vibrant towns across the borough. As well as building new infrastructure, leisure and cultural facilities, it also includes the maintenance of what we already have.

To help us achieve this, we need people to #OwnIt by:

  • Report empty homes
  • Visit your local town centres regularly
  • Spend your money locally and support Barnsley Markets
  • Tell us how we can improve your town centre

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