THE NEXT stage is set to begin on a project to redevelop empty houses into affordable new homes.

The Empty Homes Scheme has been undertaken by independent housing provider Calico Homes, which manages around 5000 homes in Lancashire, in partnership with Burnley Borough Council and aims to revive abandoned houses across the borough.

So far, the scheme has revived 97 homes over the course of the previous four phases, with the next phase aiming to redevelop a further 30 houses.

Calico Homes director of development Wendy Malone said: "It’s brilliant that we can continue to move forward with phase five of the Empty Homes Scheme.

"By renovating formerly derelict properties in the area, we’re able to create even more successful, safe neighbourhoods where people are proud to live."

The project has been realised thanks to £870,000 worth of funding from Homes England and aims to utilise the empty properties, many of which have fallen into a state of neglect and disrepair, requiring extensive renovation works.

So far, Homes England says that feedback for the overall scheme has been positive, and that it has helped to reduce numbers of crime and anti-social behaviour cases, along with helping to reduce homelessness in the area, and provide safe houses for those escaping domestic abuse.

Meanwhile in Burnley last year several empty properties were repurposed to provide housing for vulnerable individuals requiring a safe space to self-isolate during the pandemic thanks to the scheme.

With three previous phases of the project complete, Calico Homes and Burnley Council hope to finish phase four by the end of August and to complete the fifth shortly afterwards.

They say that this next phase will help to deliver further regeneration across Burnley and Padiham with the intention of improving the standard of housing in the wider community and neighbourhoods.

Calico Homes and Burnley Borough Council aim to have completed this latest phase by March 2022.