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Empty Homes

Tuesday, 1st December, 2015

Members of the public can report empty homes in their communities and contribute to bringing them back into use by using a free national helpline manned by expert empty homes staff.

There are an estimated 27,000 long-term private empty homes in Scotland and about 150,000 families and individuals on waiting lists from a home of their own.

There can be varied reasons for an empty home, including a lack of finances to carry out repair work, but help is available. Bringing empty homes back into use has many benefits and while this alone won't solve Scotland's housing crisis, it can be part of the solution.

Anyone can call the helpline to report a long-term empty home in their area and the staff will discuss all the options available to help transform empty houses back into homes again.

Since its launch in 2010, the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership has helped to bring in excess of 900 homes back into use across Scotland and has worked to establish dedicated empty homes officers within 16 of Scotland's 32 local authorities. 

Once reports are received through the helpline, an empty homes officer will work to identify and contact owners, as well as working with local authorities to facilitate bringing the property back into use, either through a sale or rental. 

The Empty Homes Agency in England has estimated that the cost of refurbishing an empty home is from 6,000 - 25,000. The average cost of a new build home in Scotland is 100,000.

The Scottish Government has extended funding for the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership until 2018. To report an empty home, call 0344 515 1941.


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