RESIDENTS trapped by the troubled Project Phoenix have sounded a desperate cry for help.
Their lives have been put on hold after Hyndburn Council ran out of money to complete the high-profile regeneration scheme.
Many homes in West Accrington have been bought under compulsory purchase orders and the owners relocated with the help of £30,000 grants.
But those left behind complain they are living lives of utter misery in "disgusting slum streets" with boarded-up houses and broken windows.
Thieves and vandals have moved in and stolen hundreds of roof slates from derelict buildings.
Lonsdale Street newsagent Nazir Shah said: "We are stuck in a ghost town. I will be out of business very soon.
"The council should have got its plans straight and the finances planned years ago.
"There is nothing here but human suffering and misery."
Joan Rawstron, 42, of nearby Rutland Street, said: "It's becoming unbearable.
"It's soul-destroying to see the area decline."
Joan Pilkington, secretary of West Accrington Residents' Association, said: "How can the council let people suffer in an area like this and spend money on far less important schemes?
"Nothing ever happens for people on the ground."
Councillor Tony Dobson, Cabinet portfolio holder for housing, said discussions about securing funding were ongoing and good news might be just weeks away.
He said: "We could be on the verge of securing £600,000 from a Government agency and that would get the project back on track."