Moulton: Campaign to bring social housing back to the village nearing a successful end

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- Credit: Archant

A village is close to completing its campaign to fill two social housing properties that have stood empty for 18 months.

Three properties in Moulton – two in The Street and one in Church Road – have been vacant since early last year.

The village’s parish council has been demanding answers from Forest Heath District Council and housing association Flagship for almost a year as it looked to welcome local social housing tenants to Moulton.

After planning to sell all three houses, parish councillors managed to persuade Flagship at a meeting in March to put the two properties in The Street back in the social housing stock, but the properties remained unoccupied.

Matters came to a head at a public meeting on Tuesday, where a representative from Flagship told residents the houses would soon be back in circulation.

Moulton Parish Council chairman Bill Rampling said: “These house have been a real saga. It’s a ridiculous situation – the Government is screaming at us that there’s a housing shortage, and we’ve got three houses sitting here empty for nearly two years.

“We feel we want a mixed community and these houses provide that, because those who can’t afford to buy or rent privately can still afford to live in the village.

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“We want all the walks of life in the village. We want young and old and all social backgrounds so you keep the balance of community, otherwise you get a bunch of retired people, so the village dies.”

Mr Rampling added that it was a good move because people with a link to the village could be given the houses as a priority.

David Wood, Flagship’s interim director of assets and sustainability, said refurbishment at the properties would start before Christmas and hopefully take three to four months to complete.

He added: “However, until the preparatory work is carried out we will not know the full extent of the project nor exact timings.

“These buildings are very old and present a number of challenges. While we are keen to get them back into use, it is important we respect the integrity of the building .“

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