City centre terrace houses to go on sale for just £1 after being ravaged by fire
Two derelict terrace houses left without roofs after a devastating fire are set to be sold for £1 each.
The properties are still waiting to be repaired after being gutted in an arson attack nine months ago in Hanley, Staffordshire.
One of the homes belongs to Stoke-on-Trent City Council which is now trying to buy the next-door privately-owned house where the blaze started.
It then plans to include the properties in the next round of its innovative £1 homes scheme which will see the successful owner take out a £60,000 loan to be repaid over a 15-year period.
After that, they will become the outright owner, Stoke-on-Trent Live reports.
Applications for the new scheme have already closed after the council received formal interest from 518 house-hunters.
A council spokesman said: "The two houses are long-term empty properties which were caught up in an arson attack last year.
"We have undertaken a lot of work in this area over the last few years to revive the local community.
"This includes bringing properties back into use through our hugely successful cluster of empty homes programme, and supporting residents and community groups.
“One of the properties is privately-owned, and this is the property where the fire started. The council owns the other property and it is intended that this is included in the next phase of our programme.
"We are working with the landlord of the other property with the aim of purchasing it. These talks have unfortunately taken some time to progress.
"We want both properties brought back into constructive use as soon as possible, providing decent homes for residents, supporting work to continue to make this community strong.”
Nearby residents are frustrated by the delay in bringing the homes back up to scratch.
Emma Simms, 40, of Century Street where the damaged homes are, said: "We've been here since July last year and the roofs were like that then. Something needs to be done with them.
"It's sad that houses are being left empty when there are people dying on the streets. It doesn't give a good impression."
Neighbour Donna Marie, 25, added: "They should repair the houses. They need to be repaired or knocked down."
And Chris Benn, also of Century Street, said: "It doesn't look good when you're coming down Portland Street and all you can see is those two houses.
"One of the houses is supposed to be a £1 house. I'd like to see them repaired or knocked down. It's not nice the way it is."
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