More than 1,000 properties are sitting empty in Barrow each year while households in the area continue to be faced with homelessness, figures show.

Campaigners say abandoned dwellings should be repurposed to tackle England's housing crisis, after councils across the country recorded hundreds of thousands of empty homes.

Figures from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities show there were at least 1,309 empty properties in Barrow at the most recent count in October – down two per cent from 1,342 last year.

Of those, 1,057 had been gathering dust for six months or more, and at least 319 had been abandoned for more than two years.

The figures, which cover properties subject to council tax, also show 349 dwellings in the area were listed as second homes last month.

Different DLUHC figures show in 2020-21, 287 households in Barrow were entitled to council support after becoming homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The Local Government Association has called on the Government to give local authorities greater powers to acquire empty homes.

A spokesman for the LGA, which represents councils, said: “At a time when we face a chronic housing shortage across the country and high levels of homelessness, it is wrong for so many homes to be left empty."