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Over 600 apply for £1 houses

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Hundreds of residents of Stoke-on-Trent are expected to seek the chance to buy a house for just £1 after applications opened yesterday.

At least 600 have already expressed interest as part of the £3m regeneration programme.

The council has announced it will sell off 35 rundown properties – mostly terraced houses – for a nominal fee and provide a loan of up to £30,000 to cover the cost of refurbishment.

Applicants must be residents of the city, have a household income of between £18,000 and £30,000 per year and undertake to live in the property for five years.

Councillor Janine Bridges said: “We are now at a very exciting stage in this major project which will see a rundown area of the city transformed.

“The project will not only benefit the residents who are currently living next to properties that have been vacant for some time, it will also give families moving into the homes the chance to take their first step on the property ladder.”

Successful applicants, to whom the properties will be randomly allocated, must meet the council’s lending criteria and pay back the refurbishment loan within ten years at an interest rate of 3% above Bank Base Rate, or a maximum of 7%.

The move comes after Liverpool Council proposed selling up to twenty vacant Victorian terrace properties for a token price of £1 each if the owner pledged to refurbish the home and live in it for five years without sub-letting.

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