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Council properties set for makeover

Seven properties on Portersbridge Street in Romsey are expected to be given a new lease of life by Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) before being rented out privately later this year.

Having been leased to Aster for use as temporary accommodation since 2003, the housing association recently indicated that it no longer required the TVBC-owned period homes as they could meet the local need for temporary accommodation using their own properties.

At a cabinet meeting on February 12, council chiefs are expected to recommend taking the opportunity to refurbish them and bring them back into use as rental properties. They will lease them to the authority’s housing management company, Valley Housing Ltd., which regularly lets its homes to those on TVBC’s housing register.

Finance portfolio holder, Councillor Maureen Flood, said: “When Aster said that they didn’t need the houses any more, we had an opportunity to decide whether to keep them or sell them on. Subject to approval from council colleagues, we’re hoping to refurbish them and bring them back into use as they will provide really great homes for those in need of private rented accommodation. This of course also benefits the council as we will be able to bring in some additional income through rent.”

The properties include six three-bedroom houses and one two-bedroom house, each with a self-contained back yard.

Cabinet will agree a recommendation at its meeting on February 12, with the final decision set to be made at full council on February 26.

The council created Valley Housing Ltd in 2016 as part of its Project Enterprise initiative, which aims to generate additional income for the authority and reduce its dependence on the government’s revenue support grant over the coming years.