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Homes redecorated for homeless in Bow

PUBLISHED: 11:44 25 January 2012

Ofa Ejaife was among the volunteers who helped refurbish the empty homes

Ofa Ejaife was among the volunteers who helped refurbish the empty homes

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A housing association is putting long-term empty homes in Bow back into use for homeless people with the help of construction trainees and volunteers.

Poplar Harca, teamed up with Phoenix Community Housing Co-operative, based in Derbyshire Street, Bethnal Green, to refurbish the homes.

The project is providing recent construction graduates with work experience while providing short-term homes for single adults, who have been homeless or are at risk of being homeless.

More than 50 people involved in the work, including construction graduates, volunteers and housing association staff spent more 1,200 hours voluntarily renovating the homes.

MP Jim Fitzpatrick will today officially open nine renovated homes on Spey Street, Teviot Estate.

Poplar Harca can only refer people from the council’s housing register for permanent residency and the cost of doing empty homes up for short-term leases is significantly less than bringing them up to the standard required for permanent residency, a spokeswoman explained.

Some of their properties were therefore made available to the co-operative, she added.

The scheme is part of the co-operative’s Housing Plus project launched, which aims to bring empty buildings back into use through use of co-op members and volunteers.

Phoenix is currently working with partner agencies to identify other properties that can be used for the projects.


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