Today is one of those days with news that the Council has clubbed together with local Reading-based charities the Reading Single Homeless Project and the Forgotten Gurkha (which is based in Eldon Square in my ward, Redlands) to try and turn empty housing into much-needed homes.
As Lib Dem housing spokesperson since 2006, I led the campaign to get RBC to bring in an empty homes strategy, and 2 years after it became Council policy the EHS continues to open doors for people who are desperately seeking housing.
My colleague Cllr Peter Beard, Lib Dem Councillor for Tilehurst actively campaigned to extend the rights of Gurkhas and their families when he was Mayor of Reading last year and is continuing to fight tirelessly alongside the Forgotton Gurkhas charity to help Gurkhas get better housing.
From RBC's press release:
"Property owners struggling to let their empty homes are being asked to work with local charities and Reading Borough Council to meet demand for housing.
As part of Reading's Empty Homes Strategy, the Council puts owners of empty homes in touch with people and agencies wishing to buy, lease or rent these properties.
Reading Single Homeless Project and The Forgotten British Gurkha are two organisations that have asked Reading Borough Council to help find much needed homes to buy or rent for their clients. "
The Council's Learning Disability team is also looking for homes to rent for its clients.
Do you own an empty property in Reading or know someone who does? Officers have said ideally, the properties should be family sized so that two or more people can live together and share the facilities.
Key contacts are as follows:
- To let your home to people with a learning disability via the Council, call Bryony Hall on 01189 390361.
- The Deposit Guarantee Scheme team is available on 0118 939 0233.
- The Reading Single Homeless Project contact is Ian Caren on (0118) 950 7656 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Paul Keddie is the contact at The Forgotten British Gurkha on (0845) 003 9958 or email@example.com
- For details on empty homes in Reading, go to www.reading.gov.uk/housing/emptyhomes/ or call the empty homes officer on (0118) 9373091.