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About Us

The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership is funded by the Scottish Government and hosted by Shelter Scotland. We exist to encourage Scotland’s approximately 46,000 empty homes back into use. At a time of a housing emergency we know that every home matters.

The partnership was first formed in 2010, after the review of the private rented sector identified that empty homes can play an important part in meeting our housing challenges.

Our aims and objectives

Our aim is to bring as many privately-owned empty homes back into use as possible by meeting our five objectives:

  1. Encourage every council in Scotland to have a dedicated Empty Homes Officer.  We know that in local authority areas where owners can access advice and information, more homes are unlocked.
  2. Support the national network of Empty Homes Officers.  Empty Homes Officers give advice and information on a range of issues and we support them with tailored training, workshops and facilitated best practice meetings.
  3. Encourage registered social landlords, community groups and other private bodies to engage in empty homes work.  A single empty home can cause a nuisance to a community and clusters of empty homes can lead to a spiral of decline. We want to make sure that other organisations recognise the importance and value of turning derelict properties into homes.
  4. Encourage councils to mainstream empty homes work.  It doesn’t make financial sense to allow properties to remain empty and deteriorate. Our value tool highlights the obvious and hidden benefits to empty homes work.
  5. Deliver the Scottish Empty Homes Advice Service.  Our Advice Service provides help and support to owners looking to bring their empty home back to use, to neighbours dealing with problems caused by empty homes in their building or street, and to investors looking to buy empty homes and return them to use.

How we can help you

We are here to encourage local authorities to provide advice and assistance to owners at a local level. We know that more homes are brought back into use where an Empty Homes Officer can speak to an owner to understand why the property is empty and then offer tailored solutions to turn it into a home again.

Not all councils have an Empty Homes Service or a dedicated Empty Homes Officer. We want every council in Scotland to recognise the importance of our existing assets, and to proactively offer advice and assistance to people who are stressed or struggling to deal with an empty home. Where they don’t, our Advice Service provides information and support to owners directly so that no one has to deal with an empty home on their own.

You can find out here how our advice service has assisted owners, neighbours and those looking to take on an empty home.


long-term empty homes in Scotland. These are properties that have been empty for six months or longer and are liable for council tax.


properties brought back to use in 2021/22, bringing the total brought back into use since commencement of SEHP to 7,759

How you can help us

Living in a community with a run-down or derelict house nearby is unpleasant. If you are aware of an empty home in your community, you can help by:

If your council does not have an Empty Homes Officer and you want help, you can:

  • Contact your local councillor either by letter or email - their contact details should be on your local council website or get in touch with the Advice Service for assistance
  • Contact your local councillor face to face - they hold regular drop-in 'surgeries' for the people they represent to raise issues with them
  • Arrange a specific meeting with community members