Shelter Scotland: local effort, local impact

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The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership helps councils and their partners bring private sector empty homes back into use. Kristen Hubert, Shelter Scotland’s empty homes coordinator, blogs for LGiU Scotland about their upcoming conference.

It’s the time of year for the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership when we start getting excited about November’s annual Scottish Empty Homes Conference. We have a celebrity coming this year – George Clarke, TV Architect of Restoration Man and Amazing Spaces fame, who is also the Westminster Government’s Empty Homes Advisor. George will be giving a keynote address with some key lessons and inspiration from south of the border that we can hopefully ‘tartanise’ to help fill some of Scotland’s 27,000 long term empty homes.

George will also be involved in presenting the Howden’s Scottish Empty Homes Champion of the Year Awards. This is the 4th year of these awards and they are a great opportunity to celebrate the success of Empty Homes Officers and Social Enterprises, private developers and more who have good practice to share about bringing empty homes back into use.

The conference will also hear from Margaret Burgess MSP, Minister for Housing and Welfare. The Scottish Governments fund the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership which is housed at Shelter Scotland. At last year’s conference, the Minister was able to announce the extension of the Partnership’s work to 2018.

The focus of this year’s conference is Local Effort, Local Impact. We’ll have sessions on the cost and financial value (to housing supply and beyond) of bringing empty homes back into use as well as a Local Ideas Launch session to workshop new initiatives and inspire creative thinking.

The conference attracts a wide range of professionals with an interest in private sector empty homes as well as elected members and community group representatives. We are keen for input on the day from a range of sectors. The conference is on the 17th of November in Edinburgh. To book a place click here. For more information about the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership or if you are concerned about an empty home in your area phone our national Empty Homes Advice Service on 0344 515 1941.

For guides and tools aimed at empty homes officers, go to the Shelter Scotland site.