First Scottish winner of UK empty homes award
An empty homes officer from Forth Valley has become the first from Scotland to pick up a prestigious UK-wide award.
Allyson Allison who works as an empty homes officer for both Falkirk and Stirling Councils as part of the Forth Valley Empty Homes Project, has been named joint winner of the Empty Homes Practitioner of the Year Award 2016 by the UK-wide national Empty Homes Network.
Allyson was presented with the award at the UK-wide Empty Homes Network’s Conference 2016 in Birmingham on May 24.
The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, which is funded by the Scottish Government and hosted by Shelter Scotland, has previously rewarded Allyson for her work in helping to bring hundreds of empty homes back into use in the Forth Valley area.
Allyson Allison said: “I’m thrilled and surprised to win this award which is a fitting tribute to the achievements of the project and everyone who works on it.”
Kristen Hubert, Scottish Empty Homes Partnership national manager, added: “This award is fantastic recognition for all of Allyson’s hard work. There was strong competition for this award so this is a real achievement and very exciting to have a Scottish winner.
“Allyson has helped bring hundreds of empty homes back into use over the years and brings heaps of enthusiasm to the Scottish Empty Homes Officer Network. I know the whole network will be congratulating her on this win.”
The partnership between Stirling and Falkirk Councils has been a huge success, with more than 300 properties returned to use since April 2013. As a result of that success, a permanent empty homes officer will now be available in each of the council areas from July 2016, with a new officer taking the helm in Falkirk and Allyson Allison continuing in Stirling.