Cash boost to bring 100-plus empty Burnley homes back into use

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A SCHEME aimed at breathing new life into dozens of empty homes across Burnley is all set for take off.

The Clusters of Empty Homes programme will identify groups of vacant properties throughout the borough suitable for refurbishment before helping bring them back into use.

Burnley residents are being given the chance to hear more about how the project will work at a drop-in event at Howard Street Community Centre on Wednesday from 6 until 8pm.

Earlier this year Burnley Council successfully bid for £3.5m. of Government funding to pay for the scheme, under which owners of empty homes would be offered loans of up to £6,000, which they must match themselves, to help pay for renovation work. There would also be financial help for people wanting to buy the renovated properties as well as general improvements to the wider area.

At least 100 empty homes must be brought back into use but Burnley’s programme will involve as many as 175 properties.

Three areas in Brennand Street, Gannow and Trinity have already been earmarked and Coun. Howard Baker, the council’s Executive member for housing and environment, said: “The council wants to involve residents in these areas and work in partnership with them to help improve their neighbourhood.

“I’d encourage anyone with an interest to come along to the drop-in session. We want to hear residents’ views and tell them more about the scheme.”

Coun. Baker, who will be attending the drop-in event, added: “Empty houses attract anti-social behaviour such as vandalism, fly-tipping and arson and they can drag down a street or neighbourhood. It makes sense that, where appropriate, empty houses are brought back into use because it brings so many benefits; it provides extra homes, it makes better use of existing resources, it helps reduce anti-social behaviour and it improves the wider neighbourhood.”