A further 80 long-term vacant and run-down properties across the borough are set to have new life put back into them this year thanks to Burnley Council’s empty homes programme.

The programme sees properties that have been left empty for many years and which often attract anti-social behaviour acquired by the council, renovated and then sold on with the proceeds being put back into the scheme to tackle more empty homes.

The council is also working with Calico Homes to bring up to a further 35 empty properties back into use and which will offer good quality rented accommodation in place of vacant, poor quality buildings.

In 2018/19 a total of 84 properties were brought back in to use by the council’s empty homes programme, through a combination of negotiating with the owners and agreed purchase and, in some cases, compulsory purchase.

Cllr Ivor Emo, the council’s executive member for housing and leisure, said: “The Empty Homes programme has made a massive difference by bringing back long-term vacant houses that have often been left to fall into disrepair back into use as attractive homes.

“Properties left empty, in some cases for 10 years or more, quickly deteriorate and start to bring the area around them down as well. Long-term empty properties can cause a blight on our communities and attract crime and anti-social behaviour. By bringing them back into use we not only provide a good quality new home for someone but also helps improve the look of the whole street.”

One of the 84 properties brought back to use last year was an end terraced property in the Ingham and Lawrence Street selective licensing area of Padiham.

This property was identified in September 2017 as a property of concern during routine review of the area.

In November 2017 a technical officer attended the property and, based on his assessment of the property, it was deemed to be in a serious state of disrepair.

The property’s elderly owner was unable to maintain or repair the property and the council agreed to buy the house under the empty homes programme and renovate it.

Assistance was provided to the owner from the council’s housing needs team to assess their needs and help them to find alternative sheltered accommodation.

The house was acquired in May 2018 and the renovation work was completed in February 2019.