Winner: Thanet DC – Live Margate
Live Margate involves buying properties for conversion from houses of multiple occupation into family homes. The Cliftonville suburb ranks as the nation’s fourth most-deprived community, dominated by overcrowded and poorly managed private rented homes, with 70% of tenants receiving housing benefit. Thanet set up a partnership to invest £23m to buy 300 properties, many long-derelict or unoccupied, and renovate them. The aim is to reach a tipping point at which private investment will be attracted. So far, anti-social behaviour is down by 27% down over five years and the proportion of empty homes has fallen from 20% to 6.8%.
Highly Commended: Barking & Dagenham LBC – Infrastructure Housing
Judges’ comments: This winning project demonstrates a successful and sustained strategy to deal with a very challenging housing problem. It showcases clear interventions, partner and community engagement, bravery and tenacity.
Brick By Brick: Croydon Smaller Sites Programme
Kettering BC: Reducing tenancy breakdown
Southend-on-Sea BC: Hostel for rough sleepers with complex needs
Tower Hamlets LBC: Blackwall Reach regeneration project
Tower Hamlets LBC: Poplar Baths
Worcestershire CC: Supported living project
Stephen Baker, chief executive, Suffolk Coastal & Waveney DCs
Amanda Deeks, chief executive, South Gloucestershire Council
Ged Curran, chief executive, Merton LBC
Andrew Muter, outgoing chief executive, Newark & Sherwood DC