This project is now complete – thank you to everyone for the support!
We’ve received a lovely testimonial from Kirsty, one of our very first tenants in the Empty Homes programme. Here’s what she had to say about her experience:
“I’d learnt very little from other housing projects. There wasn’t anything to worry about because the staff from the housing project would fill in my claim forms (because it was quicker for them to do it) I’d pay my £10 a week and then I’d just sign the form. I didn’t really understand or value the support I was receiving.
However, with the support from Proffitts and the Empty Homes programme, I’ve learnt new skills to prepare myself for independent living. I’ve really appreciated the support and time that they have spent going through the forms with me and showing me how to fill them in independently. At first, it was scary but after a few weeks it just clicked and now I understand the value of budgeting, especially as I’m a mum. I can’t thank Proffitts enough.”
The first stage of the project is nearly complete! Over the past 2 years Proffitts have become a small housing association with a focus on homeless young people. We have currently brought 6 empty homes back into use with another 3 due to complete by the end of May / June. A big thank you to the staff at Rossendale Borough Council for all their support and guidance.
The latest update on our ‘Empty Homes’ project:
Successfully housing the young and homeless in Lancashire – Charity Bank enables social landlords Proffitts to provide a further 3 homes
Proffitts Investing in Communities (Proffitts), a community-based regeneration agency based in East Lancashire, North West England, has received further backing for its initiative to breathe new life into empty properties and provide housing for the young and homeless in Bacup and Stacksteads.
In 2013, Proffitts, a not-for-profit organization, was successful in securing grants worth over £150,000 from the Government’s Empty Homes Community Grants Programme, which aims to bring empty properties back into use as affordable housing. The ‘Empty Homes’ project, developed in partnership with Rossendale Borough Council and the M3 Project, has enabled Proffitts to purchase six properties that had previously stood empty for long periods of time.
Working closely with local contractors, all six properties were transformed into clean, modern, habitable homes and are now successfully tenanted by a mixture of local teenagers and single parent families. Proffitts and M3 Project also offer pastoral care and support to new residents to ensure a smooth transition to living independently.
Proffitts is building on this success with a £120,000 loan from ethical bank Charity Bank to purchase three further houses in the Bacup and Stacksteads area at an estimated cost of £40,000 each.
Charity Bank offers loans to charities and other organisations that have a social purpose using the money that its savers entrust to it. It provides loans to help organisations buy property, develop social housing or community facilities, or to fund social projects. When an organisation pays back its loan, the money is used to lend to another organisation working to benefit society.
Jeremy Ince, Charity Bank’s regional manager in the North, says: “Not only is this project providing desperately needed accommodation for young homeless people, it is breathing new life into the local community by regenerating empty run-down properties. Charity Bank is perfectly placed to support projects like this with its mix of financial expertise and knowledge of the non-profit sector.”
Martin Proffitt, Director of Proffitts, said: “It has been an emotional, positive and rewarding experience for all involved in the project, especially for the young people we have housed. The following quote is from a 20 year old single mother we have just recently supported: “I can’t believe all the help I’ve had to get my first new home. It’s adorable. The people at Proffitts even painted my little girl’s room pink! It really is lovely!” – that just about sums up the whole project!”
The Empty Homes project is open to all young people in Rossendale who have a housing need with minimal support. So successful has the project been that Proffitts is now a registered social landlord to further support and administer the scheme.
February has seen the completion of the fourth property through Proffitt’s Empty Homes Project. Funded by the Government’s Empty Homes Community Grants Programme, Proffitt’s has purchased and refurbished four properties that had previously stood empty for long periods of time.
This most recent property had stood empty for a number of years prior to Proffitt’s buying it. A local contractor spent 7 weeks refurbishing the property, and it is now almost unrecognisable.
Take a look at some of the ‘before’ pictures:
And see how it looks now!
Proffitt’s is now going through the process of finding local tenants for the property – either two young people, or a young family.
GREAT NEWS. Funds have been secured to purchase a further SIX empty properties over the next 3 months. The properties have already been identified and using local contractors, will be ready for refurbishment in January 2015. Once refurbed, the homes will be available for young people and young families in Rossendale who struggle to secure that first home that we all strive for.
Thank you to the Big Issue for coverage of our ‘Empty Homes’ project – all the hard work is worth it when you see the smile on the new ‘tenants’ faces 🙂
Click on the link below to view all the projects we have delivered, in partnership with Rossendale Borough Council, since 2008 – over £1 million worth of funding so far!
Client study Rossendale Borough Council
Tenants have been moved into the first two completed houses – happy faces all round. The third property is now in the process of being refurbished. Busy busy busy – but more exciting times ahead!
The Empty homes project is now up and running and we’re really pleased to let you know that the first tenant moved into one of the newly refurbished properties at the beginning of the month! Another property will be completed in two weeks time and a young family are already waiting to move into their new home. The project is part of the governments ‘Empty Homes’ initiative – which aims to bring empty properties back into use as affordable housing. The project has been developed in partnership with Rossendale Borough Council and the M3 Project (a housing project for the homeless, aged 16 – 25 year, who are based in Rossendale)
We have been working closely with the M3 project to identify tenants and both the properties have been let to young people who have been through their resettlement process. Although the project has been set up with assistance from the staff at M3, the project is open to all young people who have a housing need with minimal support. We are currently spreading the word to a number of other agencies who work within Rossendale and the surrounding area.
We are in the process of finalising the purchase of our third property and hope to have this ready in the next couple of months. In the meantime, if you require any further information please contact John Greenwood on 01204 778 907