BOURNEMOUTH Council is considering buying up properties in Boscombe and refitting them as council homes.

The suggestion is one of those being considered as it develops a strategy to tackle the area’s poor housing.

The council believes the state of the area’s properties, especially in Boscombe Central, contributes to the chronic problems that has made it the most deprived area in the south west.

Cllr John Beesley, pictured, said: “It’s at a very, very early stage because it’s not just down to the council, we are working with private sector landlords as well.

“It’s one of a number of the housing agenda. We also want to bring a lot of accommodation that is redundant into house that maybe of interest to younger people.

“Buying homes and making them council homes would be an approach but it’s not the only approach.”

Boscombe Central, around Borthwick Road and Churchill Gardens, is the 113th most deprived area in the country out of 32,482. Nearly half of all households in Boscombe West are renting from private landlords compared with less than one in five for Bournemouth as a whole.

The council housing waiting list is seven-eight years for a family home.

Martin Hancock, Chief Executive of BCHA, said: “We support any initiative to provide higher quality social housing and see this idea as a positive opportunity.

“The potential for longer tenancies will contribute to regeneration by allowing people to set up residence and become an integral part of the community.”

Steve Wells, managing director of the private landlord Dave Wells Properties, said: “We share the council’s ambitions to improve affordable housing in Boscombe.

“Extensive work will have to be carried out to explore the viability of this early idea and ensure it represents the best service for our community.”