The buildings which stand at the corner of Colley Gate and Colley Lane in Halesowen were described as an “eyesore” but now there are plans to turn them into affordable housing.
The development has been welcomed by residents, however some called for more action from the council to give people the chance to afford housing in the area.
Peter Flavell, who has lived in the area for over 40 years said: “Half of the people round here are unemployed or on the dole. They can’t just walk in with money for a mortgage but with affordable housing they can.
“The council should do more. We haven’t had a good council building round here for a long time. There’s plenty of old houses need doing but they don’t do that any more. I’ve been here for 40 years.”
He added: “There’s plenty of empty houses that have been left and we need to get the council to come in and get them so the young people can afford them.”
Another local resident mentioned the rising house prices. “I drive past here, and I’ve seen the state of those things for years. They’ve been like that for ages, it’ll make them look better. Over there, house prices are getting more and more expensive.”
Residents were also shocked that the buildings had been allowed to get into such a bad state. One resident said: “These boards have only just been put up but before you had pigeons going in there. I’d hate to see what it looks like inside.”
The apartments would be built by Dudley Council and provide affordable housing to people on the council’s housing waiting list.
Dudley Council owns one of the properties and is in the process of acquiring the remaining properties before work on the site can commence.
The new development, which was approved in April, will be named after Councillor David Vickers who worked on the council for 16 years but sadly passed away in February at the age of 73.