City to benefit from £1m empty homes boost

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Lancaster is to receive almost £1m of government funding to bring empty and derelict homes back into use.

The £955,394 windfall is part of a pot of nearly £7.6m to be shared among towns and cities in Lancashire.

Communities Minister Don Foster said £91m is being invested across England to refurbish and bring back into use more than 6,000 empty and derelict homes and commercial premises.

The funding will be spent on refurbishment in areas where empty properties have commonly led to problems such as squatting, rat infestation and collapsing house prices, driving remaining residents away.

Mr Foster said: “The government is doing everything possible to tackle the problem of empty homes and urban blight.

“This will bring people, shops and jobs back to once abandoned areas, and provide extra affordable homes we so badly need.”

The government has already invested £130m to refurbish up to 11,500 empty homes since 2010.

This includes £100m to bring empty property back as affordable housing, and the first ‘clusters of empty homes’ programme investment of £30m.

In addition, the New Homes Bonus, under which the government matches council tax income on new build or empty homes brought back into use, has supported more than 50,000 empty homes being refurbished for people and families to live in and rewarded councils with £59m.