VIDEO: Rotting floors, crumbling bricks and sagging joists: the Boscombe bedsits undergoing massive transformation

REJUVENATION:  Robert Lawton, Jane Kelly and Kelly Ansell, take a look at HMO properties in the process of redeveloping on Walpole Road

REJUVENATION: Robert Lawton, Jane Kelly and Kelly Ansell, take a look at HMO properties in the process of redeveloping on Walpole Road

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ROTTING floorboards, crumbling brickwork and sagging joists have been found in Boscombe bedsits undergoing renovation.

To date, Bournemouth council has bought three former houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) in the Churchill Gardens area, uncovering substantial dilapidation and dangerous structural weaknesses.

While two of the properties – which altogether comprised 23 bedsits – are still being renovated, the first tenants from the council housing list have moved into the four self-contained flats of a completed house in Walpole Road.

The council hopes that by replacing HMOs with better quality, self-contained housing it can encourage working families to settle in the area, leading to a reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour.

“The transformation won’t take place overnight, but we believe that over time we will bring about considerable improvements in Boscombe with regard to housing,” said ward councillor and cabinet member for regeneration Jane Kelly.

“This is a beautiful area and has so much to offer. We want to bring working families here, people who will stay here and enhance the community, and boost the local economy as well.

“Small units of fairly inexpensive accommodation have their place, more housing is needed for young professionals. There are a huge percentage of HMOs here, we need a better mix.”

When all are completed later this year the three houses will provide ten one, two and three bed flats, managed by the council, and the authority plans to buy a further seven or eight HMOs in Boscombe with around £3.4 million from its housing budget.

Cabinet member for housing Robert Lawton said the properties were being bought at market rates from private landlords.

He said that despite their poor condition, the former owners would not face consequences for their neglect due to the difficulty of proving responsibility for the damage.

However, he added: “When tenants complain to us about the conditions they are living in it triggers an inspection which can lead to enforcement action. A hundred years ago this would have been the place to live. There is no quick fix, but buying and renovating these houses will help to bring the area back to its former glory.”

 

Comments (3)

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3:52pm Fri 16 May 14

Lisanova says...

Although it is good to see the back of these three bedsit houses, the video just shows the terrible conditions that many living in HMO's are having to endure. This is not the only way for the council to solve this problem. Where were planning, building regulations, Environmental health and housing over the years these alterations were made and people were living in these places?
This is still going on - I have seen a bad conversion a few doors from me just in the past few years, no action taken, it is a filthy slum. The council need to use the power they have or nothing will ever change.
Although it is good to see the back of these three bedsit houses, the video just shows the terrible conditions that many living in HMO's are having to endure. This is not the only way for the council to solve this problem. Where were planning, building regulations, Environmental health and housing over the years these alterations were made and people were living in these places? This is still going on - I have seen a bad conversion a few doors from me just in the past few years, no action taken, it is a filthy slum. The council need to use the power they have or nothing will ever change. Lisanova
  • Score: 6

5:34pm Fri 16 May 14

Sir Beachy Head says...

It will take 200 years of buy backs at that rate to change he area.

And where are the PROPER FULL TIME JOBS for the new families you ideally wish to house ?
It will take 200 years of buy backs at that rate to change he area. And where are the PROPER FULL TIME JOBS for the new families you ideally wish to house ? Sir Beachy Head
  • Score: 4

7:20pm Fri 16 May 14

cobbler says...

Mmmmm i wonder who the previous landlord was ?????
Mmmmm i wonder who the previous landlord was ????? cobbler
  • Score: 3

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