A local partnership including Sunderland council has launched a £1m project to improve rented housing in part of the city and bring more empty properties back into use as family homes.
The council has joined forces with local charity Back on the Map and The Virgin Money Foundation’s Ripple Fund to buy empty and poorly managed properties in the city's Hendon area and turn them into good quality homes.
A long-term loan of £390,000 from the city council, £220,000 from the Ripple Fund and £390,000 from Back on the Map will enable the charity to buy 20 properties.
Jen McKevitt, CEO at Back on the Map, said: 'Thanks to this grant from The Virgin Money Foundation and forward-thinking from Sunderland City Council, we are now able to take this important leap forward in our growth plan, growing the availability of high-quality housing and bringing local homes under responsive local management.'
Graeme Miller, the city council's portfolio holder for health, housing and adult services, said: 'We all welcome this grant from Virgin Money Foundation which will be put to good use, and show just what can be achieved when the public, private and voluntary sector all work together to improve housing.
'Working together with Back on the Map has helped create a new sense of community in this part of the city.'