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Empty homes problem in Burnley to be tackled

A new £7 million fund has been announced to help bring empty homes across Burnley back into full-time use.

Burnley Council has outlined plans to provide loans to landlords throughout the town to carry out essential repairs on properties that are currently not fit for tenants, the Burnley & Pendle Citizen reports.

Clare Jackson, private sector housing manager at the local authority, told the news provider: “The council is working closely with landlords to improve the quality of private rented houses and bring empty properties back into use. That benefits them, the new tenants and neighbours alike.”

Landlords will be allowed to borrow up to £20,000 per property to bring their homes back into top condition, with the council hoping to have at least 175 homes brought back into use as a result of the scheme by the end of the year.

In order to be eligible for these loans, landlords must demonstrate their properties have been empty for a minimum of six months and it is the amount of work required to make them attractive to tenants that has been the major stumbling block to lettings.

Moreover, the council is keen to address issues of antisocial behaviour in parts of the town and those properties that have been the subject of arson or vandalism will be given priority for funding.

Howard Baker, council executive member for housing and environment, concluded: “The council is committed to doing what it can to bring empty houses back into use to help improve the borough’s housing stock and benefit local communities.”

The money has been made available through the Empty Homes Cluster programme and will remain available until the cash pot has been used up.

Property owners who plan to leave a property uninhabited for an extended period should consider taking out unoccupied homeowners insurance with GSI Insurance Services (Southern) Limited.

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