Empty homes scheme receives extra funding

Collection of privately owned empty homes. Picture: JP
Collection of privately owned empty homes. Picture: JP
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A SCHEME that aims to tackle the “blight” of empty homes has had its funding doubled, the housing minister has announced.

Margaret Burgess said the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership (SEHP) was being extended for a further three years, backed up with an additional £616,500 of Scottish Government cash.

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The project, which is run by the housing charity Shelter Scotland, works with councils and others to help bring empty private-sector homes back into use.

There are currently 31,457 homes that have been unoccupied for six months or more, according to the Scottish Government.

Ms Burgess said: “Empty homes are a blight on both urban and rural communities across Scotland.”

She added that bringing such properties back into use “is a cost-effective way of increasing the supply of housing available to families across Scotland” and also helps with community regeneration.

“That is why the Scottish Government is not only providing a three-year extension to the Empty Homes Partnership, but is also doubling its funding,” the housing minister said.

Shelter Scotland director Graeme Brown said: “Extending the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership for another three years is great news and we thank the Scottish Government for its strong support and ongoing commitment to this work.

“The progress we have made supporting councils and their partners over the last four years to bring hundreds of empty homes back into use is testament to the hard work and commitment of everyone involved.

“Expanding the partnership and putting it on a longer-term footing will allow us to do even more to bring private empty homes back into use.

“Our goal is to see a fully-effective empty homes service in each local authority and to bring back as many of Scotland’s long-term empty homes as we can.”

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