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Last Updated: Monday, 19 February 2007, 10:34 GMT
Landlords warned over empty homes
Dozens of unoccupied properties across Cumbria could be turned into affordable housing, if council bosses use new legal powers.

South Lakeland District Council says about 950 properties have been empty for at least six months.

Now owners and landlords face losing unoccupied properties unless renovations are carried out.

Officials have set aside 10,000 for any necessary repair works to make ready for habitation.

The authority's housing and developing portfolio holder Brenda Gray said: "Sometimes there are good reasons why a dwelling is empty, but I hope with the use of these new powers, together with the grants that are available, a number of much needed affordable dwellings will be added to the housing stock in South Lakeland.

"There are around 950 properties in South Lakeland which have been unoccupied for six months and the council is keen to address the affordable housing shortage."

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