Empty Homes Week

This week is empty Empty Homes Week and cross the country, councils, charities and housing organisations are highlighting what more needs to be done to bring empty properties back into use to help meet housing needs. Its estimated that 634,000 homes are empty across the country and at a time of national housing crisis something needs to change.

By Jen McKevitt

At Back on the Map we are committed to bringing empty, long term, problem properties back into use in our community. Between 2008 and 2011, Back on the Map purchased 62 houses in Hendon. Since then, Back on the Map has bought and refurbished more empty and run-down local properties in order to improve the housing stock and provide good quality homes for local people. We now have a portfolio of 84 homes and growing. All of our properties are refurbished to a high standard, meeting and exceeding the Decent Homes Standards and let responsibly to carefully vetted families. This creates better quality housing for local families, increase neighbourliness, reduces anti-social behaviour (ASB) and builds a sense of local control.

We asked our new tenant what this meant to them to have the property and they said: “It is great to see the work Back on the Map do bringing empty properties back into use in Hendon, it’s a lovely property that me and my daughter can call home”.

One recent example of this work is a 2 bedroom Sunderland cottage we proactively purchased from a Private Landlord. This property had been empty over 6 months and was the centre a number of neighbourhood issues including fly tipping and drug dealing in the unsecure yard. Back on the Map staff worked with the Private Landlord to secure a sale and bring the property back into use for a local family. We purchased the property in May 2019 and spent 6 weeks refurbishing it. Work included; damp treatment, new flooring, roof works, new glazing, external doors, central heating system, new kitchen and bathroom. The property is now back in use as a family home.

Our Strategic Objectives

Back on the Map works in the heart of the community to empower the people of Hendon to build;

  • A Better Place
  • A Stronger Community
  • An Influencing Role for Residents

Our Core Values

A little insight into what is important to us here at Back on the Map;

  • Quality and Excellence in all we do
  • Respect and Empowerment
  • Promoting Equality and Mutual Respect
  • Valuing People
  • Operating with Honesty and Integrity
  • Individual and Community Responsibility
  • Delivering Positive Experience
  • Passion to Make Positive Impact
  • Involving and Consulting Meaningfully
  • Caring and Professional at all Times