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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 40,000 privately-owned long-term 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 four 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 bringing 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.

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.

40,000

long-term empty private-sector homes in Scotland

£6,000 - £25,000

average cost of renovating an empty property, compared to an estimated average of £120,000 to build a new home

1412

properties brought back to use in 2019/20

24

empty homes officers across 21 local authorities

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