The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership have published their annual report for the year from 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2018.

The aim for the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership (SEHP) is to encourage private sector empty properties back into
use. They do this in a number of ways: offering advice to individual owners; supporting a network of empty homes
practitioners in councils and other bodies; and developing policy and practice ideas.

Over the last year, the Partnership has overseen 742 homes brought back into use, bringing the total to 3216 since the
Partnership was set up in 2010-11.

Below are the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership’s key recommendations to ensure the success to date in bringing
empty homes back into use across Scotland is developed further and rolled out more widely across the country. We
feel these key recommendations are crucial to ensuring that empty homes work in Scotland continues to play a central
and cost-effective part in national and local housing strategies.


Staff Resources

  • Mainstream funding from Councils for local Empty Homes Officer in all of Scotland’s local authorities,
    preferably on permanent contracts.

Funding

  • Councils should earmark a proportion of the Vacant Dwelling Council Tax Levy to fund an empty homes
    service.
  • The Scottish Government and Local Authorities should introduce a financial incentive to support property
    owners to assess the feasibility of projects. We suggest a £3m, 3-year, Empty Homes Feasibility Fund.
  • There should be research carried out into the need for Repairs & Renovations grant assistance including
    energy efficiency measures.

Strategies

  • All councils should have a local empty homes strategy with a target number of empty properties to be
    brought back into use each year.
  • Councils should look at empty homes work holistically to understand where the empty properties are and
    how they can tie in with other strategic objectives.
    Enforcement
  • Legislation should be brought forward for a Compulsory Sale Order power for vacant and derelict land and
    buildings

 

The full report for 2017-2018 can be accessed here

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