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Scottish Empty Homes Conference 2024

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We’re delighted to announce that Scotland’s annual empty homes conference is back for another year. The 13th Scottish Empty Homes Conference takes place on Thursday, 29 February 2024.

An in-person only event, the conference takes place at The Studio, in Glasgow.

The Scottish Empty Homes Conference is the highlight of the year in Scottish empty home work and we couldn’t do it without our amazing sponsors. This year, we’re thrilled to have Scottish property experts and auctioneers Auction House Scotland as our headline sponsor!

Learning from the Past, Visions for the Future

Together we will explore past learnings and visions for the future – looking at what collective work has been carried out to date, the current status and how together we can use empty homes work to reach our shared goals of tackling the housing emergency, and meeting affordable and social housing need.

The event will include presentations from key figures in Scottish housing and project case studies, as well as announcements of the Auction House Scotland Scottish Empty Homes Awards.

Conference is also your chance to hear from the insight and lived experience of our empty homes officers and others working in this exciting and challenging field.

Join us for what promises to be an exciting and packed agenda, chaired by John Mills, Head of Housing Services at Fife Council and Co-Chair of ALACHO.

Agenda -

29th February 2024, The Studio, Glasgow

9.00am – 9.45am Coffee, networking and sponsor exhibition

9.45am - 9.55am Chair’s opening remarks
John Mills
Co-Chair, ALACHO and Head of Housing, Fife Council

9.55am - 10.05am Headline sponsor welcome
John Loudon, Auctioneer/Business Development Manager, Auction House Scotland

10.05am-10.40am Panel discussion: how can and should empty homes help address housing need?
Alison Watson, Director, Shelter Scotland
Cllr Robin Currie, Argyll & Bute Council
Joe Brown, Deputy Director More Homes, Scottish Government

10.40am - 11.00am Learning from the Past: the independent audit of empty homes work in Scotland
Anna Evans, Indigo House Director

11.10am - 11.25am Morning tea break / sponsor exhibition

11.25am - 12.40pm Sofa session: learnings from empty homes projects
Susan Aktemel, Founder & Executive Director, and Barry Sweeney, Head of Acquisitions & Development, Homes for Good
Isla Binnie, EHO and Douglas Whyte, Argyll & Bute Council
David MacPhail, Tighean Innse Gall
Harry Whitmore, Community-led Housing Coordinator, SOSCH

12.40pm – 1.40pm Lunch/ sponsor exhibition

1.40pm - 2.20pm Visions for the Future – empty homes work across Scotland
Lisa Borthwick and Andy Moseley, SEHP
Catrin Evans, Cii
Gillian Edwards, West Lothian Council

2.20pm – 2.45pm Introducing Cromore, a Western Isles empty homes project
Murdo Macleod, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
Karis Beattie, owner of Cromore

2.45pm -2.55pm Afternoon tea break / sponsor exhibition

2.55pm – 3.20pm Auction House Scotland Empty Homes Awards presentation
John Loudon, Auction House Scotland

3.20pm – 3.50pm Ministerial Address and Q & A session
Minister for Housing, Paul McLennan MSP

3.50pm - 4.00pm Chair’s closing remarks

4.00pm Conference ends

We'll also wrap up the day with a special keynote address.

And the Auction House Scotland 13th Annual Scottish Empty Homes Awards will be presented throughout the day as a further spotlight on some of the inspirational people and work on empty homes taking place throughout Scotland today.

Awards

This year, for the first time ever, the Scottish Empty Homes Awards has launched a dedicated category open to members of the public who have turned an empty home in Scotland back into a home.

Now in its thirteenth year, the network of Empty Homes Officers and partners across Scotland with the support of the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership have helped to bring more than 9,000 empty homes back into use since 2010. The annual awards recognise and celebrate this outstanding work, the achievements and dedication of individuals and organisations in revitalising empty homes across Scotland, transforming empty spaces into thriving places.

Anybody involved in bringing back empty homes is invited to nominate an individual (or themselves!), an organisation, or a project that they consider having made an exceptional impact in returning empty homes to use.

This year's categories are below:

Best Use of Empty Homes to Meet Social/Affordable Housing Need

Has bringing an empty home back into use met a particular housing need in your area? We would be delighted to hear about projects where existing properties have played a valuable part in meeting social or affordable housing need in your region. Of particular interest is the impact of the home to the individual or family who have been, or will be housed, and the wider community.

Special Recognition Award

An award for a rising star who is making a positive impact on empty homes work, a community member who has gone above and beyond, or someone who has consistently shown their commitment and overcome obstacles to bringing empty homes back into use. We want to celebrate them!

Best Housing Renovation – Members of the Public

Have you brought an empty property back into use? We’re opening our awards up to members of the public for the very first time. We’re looking for photos and/or videos that can tell the story of how the empty space has been transformed and we want to hear the stories behind them. How long was the property empty, what works were required, and how is the property now being used as a home? Before and after pictures are essential! This award comes with a special DIY voucher prize for the winner.

Best Housing Renovation - Sector

This award is open to anyone working in and around the industry who has brought an empty property back into use. Photos and videos are encouraged, as well as the details behind the transformation. We’re particularly interested in details of the history of the house, the journey it went on and how it became a home.

Best Environmentally Friendly Retrofit

This is an award for an excellent contribution to a sustainable future. What work was required to bring the property back into use, and why was the decision to retrofit made? What are the anticipated future impacts to the person living in the property? Please include any before and after photos. For local authorities, how did this project support your council to meet their strategic objectives, including those in relation to net zero?

Sponsors and Exhibitors

Auction House Scotland

Auction House Scotland has been trading in the auction market for more than ten years, and is proud to support the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership as Headline Sponsor at the 2024 Conference.

Having successfully sold 65 properties over the past eight years through SEHP introduction, this relationship has proved to be of value to the business, the goals of SEHP and, most importantly, to the empty home owners themselves.

The Company comprises a team of experienced property professionals, and is well equipped to sell any type of property anywhere in Scotland – whatever the size, condition or circumstances.

 

Finders International

Finders International are award-winning probate genealogists. We trace missing heirs to property estates, funds and assets worldwide and offer this service FREE of charge to Empty Homes Officers. We have experience in swiftly locating and engaging with owners of vacant or derelict property and can assist in resolving disputes. Whether the owner is living or deceased, we aim to provide prompt solutions every time.

If you would like to get in touch with any further questions, please contact us on freephone 0800 085 8796, email [email protected] or visit our website www.findersinternational.co.uk.

 

Online Property Auctions

Online Property Auctions Scotland is a well-established auction company operating entirely online, letting our clients enjoy the ease of accessing an auction on their phone, tablet or computer.

Selling hundreds of properties each year, our goal is to modernise and simplify the property-buying process, keeping our buyers and sellers happy. We charge no selling fees to our vendors, so selling your property through us is free; we also frequently offer discounted or free home report surveys, allowing people who would struggle to afford to sell their property to move it on.

We cover all areas of Scotland, and have recently branched into England as well. We host our online auctions every two weeks, where you can bid in real time on residential, land, and commercial property.

 

Fraser and Fraser

Since 1969, our accredited firm of professionals has worked with the Public Sector, providing our free of charge family tree next-of-kin tracing service. We understand the sensitivity that needs to be applied to people-tracing services, which is why we are committed to carrying these out with tact, empathy and discretion.

For all your next-of-kin enquiries relating to s.46 Public Health Act funerals, Empty Homes, Client Financial Affairs/ Appointeeship & Deputyship and Guardianship call us 020 7832 1400 or email [email protected]

 

The Empty Homes Network

Established in 2001 in England and Wales, The Empty Homes Network exist to support councils, Empty Homes Officers and practitioners across the UK in bringing empty homes back into use, through the sharing of best practice methods, hands-on experiences, and tools to develop effectiveness and efficiency.

A non-profit organisation, we lobby and campaign for service improvement, increased resources and enhanced tools, and assist those with the least capacity and experience to gain confidence whilst ensuring that those who are more experienced have a platform to share, develop and innovate.

Our Training and Consultancy services are designed and tailored to meet an authority’s specific needs, and compliment support services already available. These include: a full service review, challenging case appraisals, and empty homes strategy development.