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200 empty homes to be revived in Lancashire

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200 empty homes to be revived in Lancashire

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Development, Local Government

200 empty homes to be revived in Lancashire 200 empty homes to be revived in Lancashire

A scheme is underway to bring 200 empty homes in Lancashire back into use.

The refurbishment and remodelling of the properties in Woodnook, Accrington is a joint venture between housing association Twin Valley Homes and empty homes developer PlaceFirst.

Working alongside Hyndburn Borough Council, the two firms hope to have completed the work by summer 2014.

The first phase of the project began in December and consists of 89 properties between Woodnook's Augusta and Booth Streets. The phase is being funded in part by a loan from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

The regeneration will see vacant properties transformed from two-up-two-downs that were previously costly to heat, into a range of energy efficient two, three and four-bed family homes.

The finished homes will be let under a new institutional private rental model, which, the partnership claims, will offer high quality and fair value to local families who are currently caught in the "increasing gap between social housing and home ownership".

By the end of the initial 16-month refurbishment programme, the scheme will deliver a total of 71 homes, comprising 22 two-bed, 31 three-bed and 18 four-bed properties that will come to market through a newly formed private rental vehicle that PlaceFirst will manage.

The second phase of the scheme is currently being planned, for which the council has already secured £3.76 million in HCA funding.

The empty properties were originally owned by local individuals and families but over recent years the locality has suffered due to an oversupply of poorly managed private rented property and a lack of larger family housing.

Woodnook forms part of the PlaceFirst business plan to address the problem of empty homes across the UK, through refurbishment and remodelling of around 2,000 properties across the North of England over the next three years.

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