Burnley has worst proportion of empty homes in Lancashire and fourth-worst in UK as £9.9m-worth of property sits vacant
According to new figures, Burnley has the highest proportion of vacant homes in Lancashire and the fourth-worst in the country with almost 24 in every 1,000 houses without an occupant.
As per the Admiral Group's findings following the submission of freedom of information requests to local councils, some 10,181 of the quarter-of-a-million vacant properties in the UK are located in Lancashire, with Burnley boasting the highest proportion of vacant homes with 23.9 in every 1,000 houses empty for at least the past six months.
Nationally, there are more than 278,000 houses which have sat empty for over six months - Burnley has the fourth-highest proportion of empty homes in the entirety of the UK behind the City of London, Copeland in Cumbria, and Barrow-in-Furness.
In Lancashire, Burnley's neighbouring council Pendle ranks second with 21.5 in every 1,000 homes empty, with Blackpool 20.9 in 1,000) third. Demonstrating that the issue is far more long-term as well, 57 properties in Burnley have laid empty for over 10 years, with the combined value of such houses sitting at an estimated £9,973,228.
"We are working hard, within limited budgets, to reduce the number of long-term empty properties across our borough," said a Burnley Council spokesperson. "Over the past three years our empty homes programme - through which we acquire empty properties, renovate them, and sell them on, putting the money raised back into the scheme to buy more houses - has seen more than 180 vacant properties turned into attractive homes.
"A further 80 properties will be brought back into use this year," they added. "We also offer an empty homes loan scheme in selective licensing areas that provides financial support to private landlords who want to renovate properties which have been empty for at least six months.
"The number of houses empty for more than six months in our borough has fallen by 40% since 2004 and we are determined to continue that downward trend."