Two Portsmouth houses to be regenerated as part of community project
A NEW housing project could lead the way for more 'community-led' home schemes in Portsmouth.
Plans for a collaboration between housing association Vivid and the Portsmouth Community Housing Trust have been revealed to regenerate two properties into social housing for people on the city's waiting list.
The buildings, in Angerstein Road in North End, were gifted to the trust by the city council in 2018 for their re-development that was expected to cost around £320,000.
However, at a communities meeting this Friday (Feb 12) it is planned the freehold of the sites will be temporarily given to Vivid since the costs were too much for the trust to manage alone.
A spokesman from Portsmouth City Council said: 'Negotiations have been ongoing, with both parties actively engaged in what has been a complicated transaction and not a straight forward disposal.
'Once a decision was made that additional support was needed, both parties worked on a solution which has resulted in the need to bring forward this report.'
Housing activist and councillor Cal Corkery welcomed the plans. He said: 'The route going down more community-led housing schemes like this is something that's positive and we should probably do more of this, particularly where there are buildings the council can't use itself.
'This is the question I asked last year when the council was auctioning off homes it could not afford to restore - why not give them to a community project such as this?
'I am hopeful we will see more projects like this in the future.
'One of the benefits of community-led housing projects is it's not about trying to cram as many units into one space - they take other things into consideration like the need for community spaces.'
Director of New Business and Development at Vivid, Mike Shepherd, added: 'We’re working closely with Portsmouth City Council to ensure we have affordable homes available for people living in Portsmouth and there are a range of activities and projects we work with Portsmouth City Council on to help achieve this.'
The properties were formerly used as the headquarters of the Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling Service which has since moved to Fratton.
A decision on the freehold of the homes will be made during a virtual communities and central services meeting at 2pm on February 12.