Empty homes are being brought back back to life by a partnership between Calico Homes and a Burnley building contractor.
The social housing provider teamed up with contractors Ring Stones to buy and renovate 11 derelict properties in Burnley, and plans to do more by the end of March 2015.
Seven of them are in Cog Lane, where empty houses had attracted anti-social behaviour and vandalism.
Each of the 11 houses has been fully renovated, with damp proofing, insulation and energy efficiency measures to create more comfortable living conditions and reduce tenants’ utility bills.
The project is creating new jobs and training opportunities in Burnley, as Ring Stones directly employs its workforce, with 85 per cent of its staff living in the area.
The painting and decorating is being carried out by Calico Enterprise, a charitable organisation designed to tackle joblessness and help local people develop new skills. The restorations were delivered under the Homes and Communities’ Agency’s “Empty Homes” initiative, a Government-backed programme to bring thousands of properties back into use.
“It’s a sad irony that while the UK comes under enormous pressure to meet an acute housing shortage, more than 700,000 homes are standing unoccupied,” said Ring Stones managing director Mark Cutler.
Anthony Duerden, Calico Homes chief executive, added: “For years, these homes have sat unoccupied and neglected by their previous owners.
“Not only were they an eyesore, they’ve had a detrimental impact on the local community, the local environment and have even caused damage to neighbouring properties.
“Our work with Ring Stones is not only seeing the homes themselves renovated, but the wider community is benefiting from transformed neighbourhoods - ones they can be proud to live in.”