Scottish Empty Homes Partnership annual conference takes place today
Local government officers and others tackling the problem of empty homes across Scotland are meeting at the sell-out Scottish Empty Homes Partnership annual conference in Edinburgh today.
It comes amid growing concern at the estimated 39,300 privately-owned homes which have been empty for six months or more.
Up for discussion at the conference will be the initial results from a national survey looking at why homes become empty but also why some get stuck empty for years. The research was carried out by Dan Cookson and Newhaven Research.
Watchdog and Rogue Traders TV presenter and journalist Matt Allwright is the keynote speaker on the day.
Shaheena Din, national manager for the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, said: “Thanks to the input of councils our researchers have been able to identify local economic factors which make it more likely that a property will stay empty.
“We’re learning that very long-term empty homes are more common in areas where the costs involved in renovation won’t be recovered when it is sold or rented out.
“However, with leadership from local councils, strategies can still be developed to unlock these empty homes and we’ll be sharing some great examples of work done in this area.”
Success stories will be celebrated at the conference as the winners of this year’s Howdens Scottish Empty Homes Champions of the Year Awards are announced.
Shaheena Din added: “Scotland has turned a corner on empty homes in recent years. The empty homes officers who work across two-thirds of Scottish councils in tandem with the partnership are now bringing back into use more than 100 homes every month.
“Armed with more information than ever before we have a chance to build up momentum and achieve even more in the years ahead.
“I would like to thank Matt Allright for agreeing to be our keynote speaker.”
The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership is funded by the Scottish Government and run by housing charity Shelter Scotland.
Anyone concerned about an empty home can find out more information about the help available to bring them back into use at emptyhomespartnership.scot