The awards celebrate the impactful and transformative work undertaken to bring back many of the country’s 43,000 long-term empty homes, and this year include a new category for ‘best old wreck’, a tongue-in-cheek name for an award to honour the work that goes into restoring houses that may have been empty for several decades.
Award winners will be announced on Tuesday, March 22 at the 11th Scottish Empty Homes Conference, which will be held at the COSLA Conference Centre in Edinburgh, as well as being streamed online for digital participants.
Shona Robison, cabinet secretary for social justice, housing and local government, said: “These awards are important for celebrating the inspirational and innovative work that goes into bringing Scotland’s empty homes back into use, and I congratulate all finalists on being shortlisted.
“Tackling empty homes remains a key priority and the actions in ‘Housing to 2040’ will help to ensure that these wasted resources are brought back into residential use. This work remains an integral part of our overall ambition to deliver 110,000 affordable homes by 2032 including 70% for social rent.”
The finalists for this year’s awards are:
Best Before and After – This award recognises the best transformation of an empty home. Each nominee submitted before and after photos that tell the story of how the empty space has become a thriving place.
Ardbeg Road, Argyll & Bute Council
Cullipool, Argyll & Bute Council
Tongue, Western Isles Council
Outstanding Individual – This award recognises a practitioner who has come up with a particularly innovative solution for empty homes work, or shown tenacity, dedication, and hard work to develop an empty homes service.
Anu Kasim, Aberdeen Council
Dawn Cadwell, East Ayrshire Council
Elaine Hall, Falkirk Council
Outstanding Team – This award is for an exceptional team of people working together to tackle empty homes and bringing homes back into use.
Argyll & Bute Council
South Ayrshire Council
Best Old Wreck – This award is for the best restoration of a long-term empty home. The longer a home is empty, the harder it becomes to bring it back into use, and these additional challenges deserve recognition.
Cullipool, Argyll & Bute Council
Langholm Police Station, SOSCH (South of Scotland Community Housing)
The Sheiling, Argyll & Bute Council
Shaheena Din, national project manager, Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, said: “We thank all those who took the time to submit nominations for this year’s awards.
“The process of bringing empty homes back into use is often complex and we are proud to showcase the work of outstanding teams and individuals involved in the sector across Scotland. Well done to our finalists and we look forward to announcing the winners in March.”
Finalists and winners will be presented with wooden plaques handmade by social enterprise Clydesdale Community Initiatives (CCI) at the conference.
John Loudon, representing awards sponsor Auction House Scotland, said: “The nominations in each of the categories are of a very high standard, and we look forward to presenting the winners with their well-deserved awards in March.”
Auction House Scotland and Finders International are Gold and Silver sponsors of the conference respectively. Tickets for the 11th Scottish Empty Homes Conference are available via Eventbrite.