The SEHP was set up after the 2009 review of the Private Rented Sector identified that some of Scotland’s empty homes could be used to increase housing supply. Our goals in Phase 1 have very much focussed on getting every council to employ a dedicated EHO. This has been successful with most councils now offering empty home owners advice and assistance. However, with large volumes of homes lying empty, one EHO is not enough, and for maximum impact a more tactical approach is required.
Our vision is that privately owned empty homes do not remain empty for 12 months or more without good reason.
Our aim is to bring as many privately-owned empty homes back into use as possible by meeting our five key strategic objectives:
Strategic objective 1 –
Encourage every council in Scotland to have a dedicated Empty Homes Officer.
We know that more homes are returned to use where owners access advice and information from an Empty Homes Officer who can offer tailored solutions to turn their house into a home again. We want to see a dedicated Empty Homes Officer or Empty Homes Service in every council in Scotland.
Strategic objective 2 –
Encourage councils to mainstream empty homes work.
It doesn’t make financial sense to allow properties to remain empty and deteriorate, or to ignore the contribution empty homes can make to meeting housing and other social needs. We want every local authority to see empty homes work as a key part of housing strategy, not a standalone optional activity.
Strategic objective 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 important role that turning empty properties into homes can make in helping them meet their wider aims.
Strategic objective 4 –
Support the national network of Empty Homes Officers.
Empty Homes Officers give advice and information on a range of issues to owners and neighbours of empty homes. We support them with tailored training, workshops and facilitated best practice meetings ensuring that knowledge, expertise and case studies are shared in a supportive and friendly environment.
Strategic objective 5 –
Deliver the Scottish Empty Homes Advice Service.
We know the difference that speaking to a dedicated empty homes professional can make to people who are struggling because of an empty home. Where councils don’t have an Empty Homes Service or Empty Homes Officer, our Advice Service provides information and support to owners directly so that no one has to deal with an empty home on their own.
We will be driven by our values to ensure we provide a high quality service to all our customers.
- Helpful. We are an encouraging voice for all.
- Determined. We are a team, dedicated to turning all empty homes into forever homes.
- Supportive. We are here to offer everyone from home owners to local authorities, first level advice and support.
- Informed. We seek to provide expert knowledge and advice in an understandable and reassuring way.
- Local. We work in local communities where we strive to make a positive change.