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Strategic Framework launched to help to tackle Scotland’s empty homes

The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership (SEHP) has today published new guidance setting out how some of Scotland’s 42,000+ long term empty homes can be used to help to tackle Scotland’s housing emergency.

The Strategic Empty Homes Framework guidance and template were developed in partnership with Arneil Johnston, Scotland’s foremost specialist housing consultants, and set out eight distinct steps from setting out the legislative and policy context for empty homes work, through sourcing data and statistical evidence, and on to establishing action plans to support delivery of an empty homes strategy.

Developed in line with SEHPs aim of supporting the Scottish Government’s commitment to bringing empty homes back into use, as affordable housing where possible, the framework represents a step-change for empty homes work in Scotland.

Andy Moseley, Policy and Projects Manager at the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, said:

“An increasing number of local authorities are recognising that empty homes are an asset on their doorstep that can be used to help tackle the housing emergency in Scotland as well as supporting wider housing and social policy goals such as town centre regeneration and improved community wellbeing.

“SEHP’s strategic framework pulls together best practice from across the country to help local authorities who wish to take a strategic approach to empty homes work as an essential part of their local housing strategy.”

To support the launch, the partnership will present the Framework at the SHN Private Sector Housing Policy Event on 20 September and COSLA’s annual conference on 28 September.

The full strategic framework is available here:

Aberdeen City Council Convener of Communities, Housing and Public Protection committee Councillor Miranda Radley said:

“The step-by-step guide to developing an empty homes framework, produced by the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, will be a great resource for other local authorities looking to develop a strategic approach to empty homes work.”

“Aberdeen City Council recognises the vital role that empty homes can play in delivering our housing strategy.

“Focusing resources on long-term empty residential properties in areas with the highest concentration of these has been essential to our work to bring empty homes back to use, and increase the availability of affordable housing across the city.”

Falkirk Council Empty Homes/Buy Back Officer, Wendy Laird, said:

“The strategic and practical guidance is already helping to shape and develop the Empty Homes Plan for Falkirk.

“The benefits of the framework include the range of information included within it that helps to demonstrate the contribution that empty homes work can make to deliver the local housing strategy, and the access to clearly signposted information, which saved a lot of research time”

“I think it will be a great tool for Empty Homes Officers and local authorities across Scotland.”