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About us

The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership exists to help bring private sector empty homes back into use.  The project is funded by the Scottish Government and housed by Shelter Scotland.

Our work covers a range of activity from policy work to practical support for owners: 

Raising awareness

We think it is important that the general public are aware of the scale of the empty home issue in Scotland, the devastating effects of empty homes on communities and what can be done to bring these properties back into use as homes.  We aim to showcase success stories and highlight key issues via the media and through engaging with a range of professional sectors.  If you know of a good news story involving an empty home or a problem you think needs highlighted please contact a member of our team.

Policy work

Part of our work involves identifying barriers to bringing private sector empty homes back into use.  We have supported legislative changes to council tax law that allow Empty Homes Officers to access empty homes data as well as allowing councils to remove empty homes discounts and charge more for long term empty homes where owners have taken no steps to bring them back in to use.  We make recommendations on needed financial incentives for empty homes work and are currently lobbying for the introduction of a Compulsory Sale Order power for empty homes. 

Support for Empty Home Owners

Empty Home Owners can get quick access to first level advice and referrals to local empty homes services in their area via the Empty Homes Advice Service.  Our Empty Homes Adviser can talk you through all the options and follow up to make sure you are getting the support you need to make the most of your empty property. 

Support for Empty Homes Officers

The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership offers induction training and on-going learning opportunities to all Empty Homes staff in Scotland.  We run two officers forums for the sharing of best practice as well as an online community hub.  We also produce a range of guides, tools and templates intended to help Empty Homes Officers learn from what has worked elsewhere and avoid duplication of effort.

Support for Neighbours

The Empty Homes Advice Service as well as helping owners  is the one stop shop for anyone concerned about an empty home in Scotland.  Our Empty Homes Adviser will record your report, send it to the appropriate local authority and follow up to see that action is being taken.  Bringing empty homes back into use takes time, even when councils are doing everything they can, but it can be reassuring for neighbours to know that their concerns are being followed up. 

Support for Local Projects

If you have an idea for an empty homes project in your area our Empty Homes Local Project Service may be able to help.  The Service is designed for developers, owners, community groups, social enterprises and charities.  Our Empty Homes Local Projects Manager can play an active role in helping you develop your idea into an actionable plan including help with sourcing funding and finding partners. 

Support for Councils

As well as training existing empty homes staff, the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership works with councils to develop their Empty Homes Strategies.  We also have a limited pot of funding available for Empty Homes Shared Services Incubator Projects that allow councils to hire an Empty Homes Officer at low cost for 2 years. Our kickstarter fund also helps councils fund Empty Homes Officers.

Annual Conference

We hold the annual Scottish Empty Homes Conference in November each year.  A chance to bring together a wide range of delegates and speakers with an interest in private sector empty homes work.  The event is the showcase for success in the field and its highlight each year is the presentation of the Scottish Empty Homes Champion of the Year Awards.

Our Advisory Group

The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership Advisory Group provide expertise, advice and support to the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership Team based at Shelter Scotland in pursing the aim of bringing empty homes back into use as one of a number of ways of addressing housing supply shortfalls in Scotland. Membership includes:

  • Gavin Corbett - Shelter Scotland (Chair)
  • John Kerr - COSLA (West Dunbartonshire Council)
  • Ross Lindsay - Scottish Government
  • Fiona Hepburn - Scottish Government
  • Brian Parr - Scotland's Housing Network
  • Katy Dickson - Scottish Land and Estates
  • Derek Logie - Rural Housing Service
  • Isabel Fry - Historic Environment Scotland
  • Phil Prentice - Scotland's Towns Partnership
  • Angela Williams - Community Land Scotland
  • John Blackwood - Scottish Association of Landlords

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