Annual Impact Report 2022 - 2023
There is considerable support for any council looking to invest in empty homes work. SEHP have offered seed funding to all local authorities to test the value of empty homes work, and most have done this through our Kickstarter funding. We are also able to offer ongoing training, support and one to one advice when setting up an empty homes service. Since the inception of SEHP, 25 councils are now investing in bringing homes back into use and another council has committed to recruiting an EHO this year using Kickstarter support.
All of the homes reported back into use in this reporting period are from local authorities that have an EHO.
Because every empty home matters, we still believe that every local authority should have an empty homes officer or an empty homes service.
However, we recognise that the impact some empty homes have on communities is greater than others. When we think about the commitments to more homes at the heart of great places and increasing affordability and choice set out in Housing to 2040, we know that there is a need to start targeting resources. Therefore, with more than 2/3s of our councils on board, we recognise that greater depth is now required. This means looking ahead, we will focus our attention on bringing empty homes into use in locations which have the biggest impact on the numbers of homes lying empty, and the ones that can contribute most to ending Scotland’s housing emergency.
EHOs across the country are working to bring as many homes back to use as possible, but with an average ratio of more than 1,000 homes empty for 12 months+ for each empty homes service, it is never going to be an easy or a quick task. Sufficient resource, from staffing to funding and legislative tools are all required.