From a derelict wreck to a home fit for a family, terraced house is completely transformed

What a transformation…

From a derelict wreck to a home fit for a family, this terraced house shows what can be done with a little bit of elbow grease.

Hard-working residents have now opened the doors to give a peak into their latest property masterpiece.

Middlesbrough Community Land Trust, a not-for-profit group made up of volunteers, was set up in 2011 with the aim of bringing the Gresham area of Middlesbrough back to life.

So far the group has revamped five houses, and members of the public were invited along today to see how one two-bedroom house on Union Street has been transformed from a burned-out shell to a family home.

AFTER 3 AFTER

MCLT volunteers Ken Sargent, 73, a retired bin man, said: “This property was burned out all the way through and had been empty for a long, long time.

“It’s had a new roof, all the walls have been re-plastered, all new double-glazed doors and windows, new floorboards as they were affected by dry rot, new carpets all the way through, and the layout’s been changed to make it more open and light.

“It came in under budget as well – I think the CLT has done really well, and we’ve had great backing from council officers.

“We’re all just residents of the Gresham area and the gem streets. I got involved just because I want to see Middlesbrough back to how it used to be.”

Residents took action after the recession and loss of Government funding for demolition schemes meant phase 3 of a regeneration scheme for the area was abandoned in August 2010, affecting 634 properties.

In late 2012, MCLT began work on three properties on Union Street, which were acquired from Middlesbrough Council through an asset transfer.

These were completed in early 2013 and are now homes to two families and an elderly couple.

Having received a second round of Government funding on the back of this initial success, MCLT obtained a further two houses from MBC on a lease agreement, earlier this year, along with two empty shops, on on Union Street and another on Princes Road, which they plan to convert to four one-bedroom flats with disabled access on the ground floor.

In February this year, Middlesbrough Council agreed a number of actions to be taken with regards the Gresham project.

The removal of the third phase from the clearance programme was to be approved, while a package of financial support was agreed upon for those residents still living in, or running businesses in, the properties affected.

Owner occupiers are to receive grants of up to £6,000 to make necessary improvements, landlords to to £3,000, which must be matched, and businesses up to £5,000, or £10,000 for those which employ four or more full-time staff.

Endeavour Housing, part of North Star Housing Group, tenant manage all refurbished properties on MCLT’s behalf, and all income from rents and future sales over and above maintaining the properties will go back into further refurbishments.

The two former shop conversions are expected to be completed by December.

Reporter  Lindsey Sampson, Evening Gazette

Republished by kind permission of  the Evening Gazette

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