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Volunteers from Phoenix help revamp empty flats

PUBLISHED: 08:00 21 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:54 05 October 2010

DELIGHTED tenants are moving into five flats which had been left empty because of damp. The flats in a 1920s mansion block in Bromley by Bow have been done up by the Phoenix Community Housing Co-op with help from volunteers who have developed diy skills

DELIGHTED tenants are moving into five flats which had been left empty because of damp.

The flats in a 1920s mansion block in Bromley by Bow have been done up by the Phoenix Community Housing Co-op with help from volunteers who have developed diy skills.

The co-op works with single people on low incomes who are homeless or at the risk of becoming homeless.

Manager Alison Masterman said the flats' owner housing association Poplar Harca had been quoted £130,000 to do up the five properties and she is looking for more empty properties to do up so they can become homes again.

"We did it for £26,000 over 19 weeks and people have learnt new skills," she said.

New tenant Donald Waugh said he had picked up new skills helping to renovate the flat and was delighted with his new home after experience of living rough and in hostels

"As soon as they have the next batch of flats I want to get involved and develop my plastering skills and put something back."

There are currently 22,000 people on the housing waiting list in Tower Hamlets and an estimated 1,000 empty properties.


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