Gordon MacRae, Head of Communications and Policy at Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity, said:
“This report proves there is a significant level of vacant homes across Scotland with the potential to help in the fight to solve Scotland’s housing crisis. It also adds weight to our drive to bring Scotland’s empty homes back into use through The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership – launched last month and funded by the Scottish Government.
“At a time when there is a shortage of funding for affordable homes and more people in need, local authorities need to use all means available to them and show innovation in encouraging owners to bring empty properties back into use.
“Whilst bringing good standard empty homes back into use can play its part, let’s not forget there is a housing crisis in Scotland and that many more social homes need to be built.”
A key part of the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership is a new web initiative – www.reportemptyhomes.com – where the public can report the address or postcode of a suspected empty home – information which will then be fed back to the local authority responsible for that area.
Around half of all Scottish local authorities have already signed up to the web initiative and we urge more to do so. This is a highly efficient way of gathering national data on the issue of empty homes which will help inform councils in their drive to bring these properties back into use.
Notes to Editors:
1. Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity. Shelter Scotland believes that everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.
2. The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership Advisory Board includes:
a. Scottish Government
c. Shelter Scotland
d. Scottish Housing Best Value Network
e. Scottish Rural and Property Business Association
f. Historic Scotland
g. Rural Housing Service
3. The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership provides good practice to councils and their partners through the production of guides, facilitation of seminars and training, and one to one consultancy and advice. The Partnership also has a role in making recommendations to government where barriers to private sector empty homes work in Scotland are identified.
4. Spokespeople are available for interview, telephone the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line number is available for broadcast interviews.
5. For more information about Shelter Scotland visit www.shelter.org.uk
6. Follow Shelter Scotland on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/shelterinscotland
Twitter – http://twitter.com/shelterscotland
Contact: Neil Baldwin, Nicola Baxter
Phone: 0844 515 2442