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Case study – Open Market Purchase

The Highland Council is piloting a new open market purchase scheme to buy directly from owners in a bid to bolster its housing stock to meet the need for additional affordable housing and provide new homes and futures for families, young and old in communities across the Highlands.

A property that was empty for 2 years was identified by the EHO who was investigating another case in the local area. It is situated near Inverness where demand for housing is high. Investigations uncovered that the owner had moved into long term residential care. An offer of advice and assistance was made by the EHO, and some months later a family member made contact. All options were discussed including selling the property back to the council. A decision was made to go with the latter and this property is now let out to an applicant on Highland Council’s social housing lists.

EHOs reported that 6.78% of homes became empty due to the owner going into care.