SALFORD housing association Salix Homes is on the telly next week to help shine a spotlight on the problem of empty homes.
The organisation is featuring in a new BBC One daytime series called The Empty Housing Scandal, which airs on Monday, 11 February on BBC One at 9.15am. The five episodes will run each morning for the entire week.
In the series, presenter Matt Allwright goes on a journey to seek out the UK’s empty homes, on a mission to help pair them with people who desperately need somewhere to live and change their lives for the better.
Salix Homes’ projects featured in the series include the former Star Inn pub in Eccles, which has stood empty since last orders were called in 2016 but has now been converted into six apartments.
Also under the spotlight is abandoned women’s hostel Joan Lestor House in Little Hulton, which Salix Homes is currently converting into much-needed social housing; and a row of boarded up shops in Prestwich which have been transformed into homes.
“At a time of a housing crisis, and with more than 6,500 people on the housing waiting list in Salford alone, Salix Homes is committed to bringing empty buildings back into use as affordable housing, so we were honored to show the work we are doing in this area,” said Jonathan Drake, who looks after the housing association’s private renting arm, Salix Living, and who appears in the programme.
“Nationally there are more than 200,000 long-term empty homes which is a travesty in itself, but it’s not just empty houses that we have been focusing on, we’re targeting empty buildings in general including shops, a pub and a former homeless hostel in an attempt to tackle the growing housing crisis.
“We’re very proud of the work we are doing to create more affordable and social housing in Salford and we look forward to seeing some of our regeneration projects featured on the small screen as a positive example of how empty properties and buildings can be utilised to create more desperately needed homes.”
To date, Salix Living has created almost 200 homes in Salford by working with local landlords and Salford Council to bring empty buildings back into use.
Main Image: Jonathan Drake, service director at Salix Homes, chats to Matt Allwright