Jaywick: Empty homes cash is a “first step” to regenerate Jaywick
07:00 24 January 2013
That was the claim made by Tendring District Council’s (TDC) housing chief last night, as senior councillors at the local authority examined plans to spend a £1.3million grant from the Homes and Communities Agency.
Paul Honeywood said the money would be used to improve existing empty homes and for those wishing to build their own home on plots of land in the area.
He said he hoped the money would help first time home owners get on the property ladder.
A report into the scheme was put before the cabinet last October but Mr Honeywood said he deliberately delayed any decisions on how the money should be spent to ensure it was used to maximum effect.
The new report stated the central drivers behind the scheme are to restore confidence in the area and to “start a revival” in the housing market.
However, Mr Honeywood conceded the cash would be “nowhere near enough” to regenerate the area.
“Money has been spent in the past but it’s not made a difference, that’s why I wanted to wait and asked officers to come up innovative ideas,” Mr Honeywood said.
“What we don’t want is a sticking plaster on properties in Jaywick.”
The report states the average cost of bringing poor quality empty property back into use is in the region of £25,000.
Financial assistance will be match funded by the owner with a ceiling of £15,000 available for individual grants.
Paul Honeywood said: “This money is nowhere near enough to regenerate Jaywick but it’s a start, a first step.
“TDC can’t do that on its own but what we can do is help local people help themselves.
“If we can light the fire hopefully it will keep going.”
He said he hoped the scheme would be ready to launch by the summer.