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VOLCANO EVACUEES WANTED IN SWANSEA

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Housing officials in Swansea are trying to attract evacuees from the volcano-hit Caribbean isle of Montserrat to li...
Housing officials in Swansea are trying to attract evacuees from the volcano-hit Caribbean isle of Montserrat to live in vacant council houses.

They want to fill more than 500 empty houses, many of which are on troubled estates where properties are often stripped of fittings even after being boarded up, reports The Western Mail (p5).

In the past, council officials have been so desparate to fill unwanted local authority houses they have offered financial rewards for tenants who move in and stay.

Swansea's housing director Arnold Phillips believes the council, which has 552 vacant propeties, should take advantage of special government grants available to councils providing accommodation to Montserratians.

He says, 'A small number [of the properties] could be used to house evacuees from Montserrat, some of which could be provided in clusters to enable mutual support.'

The government grants are one-off payments to councils of£1,500 per home provided up to January 31.

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