Stirling Council officer honoured for empty homes work

Allyson Allison with her award alongside Kevin Stewart, minster for local government, housing and planning

A Stirling Council worker has received national recognition for her efforts in bringing empty homes back into use after scooping a prestigious award.

Empty homes officer Allyson Allison received the Outstanding Individual Special Mention accolade at the Howdens Scottish Empty Homes Champions of the Year Awards.

An empty home is classed as a privately owned property which has been unoccupied for six months or more.

Since 2013, Stirling Council has returned 278 empty homes, providing the authority with an extra £335,100 to run vital services.

Along with wasting resources, problems associated with long-term empty homes include crime and anti-social behaviour. They also reduce the value of surrounding properties and can be an eyesore.

Allyson was presented with her prize at the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership annual conference which was held recently at the Engine Shed in Stirling.

She said: “I’m absolutely delighted to receive this award in recognition of Stirling Council’s ongoing commitment to Empty Homes and to the national strategic objectives of bringing long term empty homes back into use and therefore contributing to the increase supply of homes.

“I would encourage any empty home owner to get in touch and I can help them to identify a suitable solution to bring their long term empty home back into use. I fully understand the complex reasons why properties can become long term empty including the emotional complexities.”

Councillor Evelyn Tweed, housing portfolio holder for Stirling Council, said: “A huge congratulations to Allyson on collecting this award. This is another success story for the housing team as they tackle this important issue.

“Empty homes have a damaging effect on our communities across Stirling and bringing them back into use provides a range of environmental, social and economic benefits.”

Shaheena Din, national project manager of the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, said: “Congratulations to Allyson on winning yet another award. She has been one of the outstanding officers in our network for several years now and is a true Empty Homes Champion.”

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