Bolton at Home has explained how it is working to reduce the number of empty homes it has and explains why they sometimes need to sell some.

This comes after residents have expressed their concerns over the sale of properties and empty homes.

Last month a number of Bolton at Home properties went up for sale.

The housing association said it manages around 19,000 homes and other buildings, many of which were built in the 1950s and updating them can be costly.

Speaking about the reasons behind the empty homes and why they sell properties sometimes by auction, a spokesperson for Bolton at Home said: “We work to maintain, improve, and build homes, with a focus on refurbishing and reletting empty homes as quickly as possible. However, there are instances when homes remain vacant longer due to significant repair needs.  

“When a tenant moves out, we assess the property and carry out any necessary repairs. If a home requires extensive work or updates to meet current standards, it may stay vacant for a longer period. This process sometimes involves specialist surveyors and contractors. 

“Each year, we refurbish approximately 1,000 vacant homes. We’re continually working to reduce the number of empty properties and, to support this, we’ve expanded our team and increased our investment in our home improvement programme. 

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“Once a home is ready, we advertise it through choice-based letting systems, following local authority allocation policies to ensure it goes to those who need it most. 

“We manage around 19,000 homes and other buildings, many of which were built in the 1950s or earlier.

“Updating these properties to modern standards can be costly, and in some cases, disposing of a property is the most practical decision. 

“We carefully consider the cost of refurbishment and the community impact before deciding to dispose of a property.

“In making decisions, we follow a disposal policy and legislation and guidance from the Regulator of Social Housing. 

“When refurbishment isn’t practical or cost-effective for us, we may choose to dispose of the property through sale or demolition.

“Any properties for sale are usually sold at auction to ensure the best price, and we also list these properties on our website. 

“We reinvest the money from sales into improving homes and services and developing new homes.

“These sales specifically contribute to our targeted home investment programme, aimed at updating and improving homes most in need across our neighbourhoods.”

The housing association said they will be providing more updates in the coming weeks and months.

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