Deadline nears for £1 home sales

There are just a few days left for people to apply for houses being sold off by a council for £1 as part of a bid to regenerate a rundown area.

The 35 long-term empty properties in Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire are near-derelict and range from three-bedroom homes to flats.

In a move which attracted media interest from countries as far afield as Japan, Stoke City Council announced earlier this year that it would be doing up the homes and selling them for a knock-down price on the agreement that the new home-owners repay the refurbishment costs over time.

The council could not say how many applications it has had so far but revealed there had been interest from people in other parts of the UK - although only applicants living within the city are eligible.
Landlords and anyone with county court judgments are also ineligible.

The cut-off date for applications is noon next Monday, when the council's application due diligence process will begin in earnest.

Janine Bridges, council Cabinet member for housing, neighbourhoods and community safety, urged people to put in for a property before time runs out.

"It is a once-in-a-lifetime chance and I would encourage house-hunters to make the most of it," she said.

Applicants will be selected at random and the council hopes the first sets of keys could be handed to the new occupants by the end of the summer, after housing repairs have been completed.

The sale is the first phase of a council project to refurbish 124 empty homes in the Portland Street and Bond Street areas of the city.

Take a look at the houses that £1 will buy you

Take a look at the houses that £1 will buy you