Cabinet agrees to sell off council house instead of spending £31k to bring it up to decent standard

A council is planning to sell off one of its homes instead of paying tens of thousands of pounds to bring it up to scratch for a future tenant.

The mid terrace two bedroom property in Florence Street, Hednesford, has been vacant for almost three months.

But an inspection of 27 Florence Street revealed repairing it would cost more than £30,000.

On Wednesday Cannock Chase Council’s cabinet gave the go-ahead for the home to be disposed of on the open market.

Housing Portfolio Leader Councillor John Kraujalis said: “It’s part of the housing stock and it was vacated in mid August. The cost of bringing the property up to decent homes standard – the standard required – would be in the region of £31,000.

“The work would need to be undertaken before the council could re-let the property and it is a lot of money to spend on one property. There is quite a significant amount of refurbishment that needs to be done to the property to bring it up to standard.

A Google Street View image of 27 Florence Street Hednesford

“Rather than do that it is recommended we sell it off and use the proceeds to build and renovate our existing stock.

“It’s unfortunate – it’s not good to let any council housing go. But in this particular case I don’t think we have much option; it’s very structural stuff that needs repairing.

“I think it dates back to the 1960s – it was purchased for a specific tenant off British Rail. It wasn’t built as a council house and standards have moved on since then – it is no longer fit for purpose.”

Council leader George Adamson said: “I have asked to make sure we don’t have any other premises like this. It’s unfortunate but we are where we are.”

Councillor Alan Pearson added: “Terraces can be very problematic when you have a house either side of it. If there are problems it can cause you a problem to bring the property up to a decent standard – and it can be extremely expensive.

“The stairs in some of these properties can be dangerous – like ladders compared to the properties we have now.”

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