The Salford housing association has said that it is on target to create 50 homes through the conversion of empty and abandoned buildings.
Last year, the social housing provider opened The Hive in Kersal at the site of the former Petrie Court homeless hostel, which had stood empty since it closed down in 2014. Salix Homes spent £1m transforming the building into affordable apartments for up to 14 young people aged between 18 and 25.
The housing association is now converting the former Alexander Gardens sheltered housing complex in Broughton into 26 one and two-bedroom apartments. The building has lain empty since it was hit by the Boxing Day floods in 2015.
Lee Sugden, chief executive at Salix, said: “The UK is in the grip of a housing crisis – quite simply there are not enough homes available and we are not building enough new homes quickly enough.
“In Greater Manchester alone, we need to build 10,000 new homes every year to keep up with demand. It’s a real challenge, particularly with the availability of land being in such short supply.
“We believe that the answer doesn’t lie in just building new homes. It’s a travesty that there are so many empty buildings out there left to go to rack and ruin, when for a bit of investment and creative thinking, they could be repurposed and transformed into much needed affordable housing.”
Further Salix conversion projects include empty shops on Eccles New Road in Weaste and Chapel Road in Bury. It has recently purchased a former women’s refuge in Little Hulton to convert into flats.
Sugden added: “If we can recycle our plastic and other household items, then we can certainly recycle our buildings. Salix Homes is committed to rethinking how we do things in order to meet the demands of the modern world and repurposing empty buildings could hold the key to solving the housing crisis.”