More support to bring empty homes back into use

Published: Monday 24 February 2020

In this photograph from left to right is South Lanarkshire Council (SLC) Executive Director of Housing and Technical Resources Daniel Lowe, Chair of Housing Councillor Josh Wilson who is seated at a desk and Head of Housing Annette Finnan

Services aimed at bringing long term empty homes back into use are being given a boost in South Lanarkshire.

The Housing and Technical Resources Committee has approved proposals to add to existing services that work with the owners of long term empty properties by appointing an Empty Homes Officer.

Figures given to the Committee confirmed that over 1,100 privately owned properties were registered as long term empty in South Lanarkshire.

Chair of the Housing and Technical Resources Committee, Councillor Josh Wilson said: "While long term empty homes represent a very small proportion of the total number of homes in South Lanarkshire, we are determined to do what we can to bring as many as possible back into use."

The total number of empty homes in the council area represents only 0.8% of the total housing stock, about half the Scottish average of 1.5%, however South Lanarkshire Council recognises that every additional home brought back into use benefits the surrounding community.

The service enhancement has been developed in partnership with the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership which is facilitated by Shelter Scotland, and funded by the Scottish Government, and supports efforts to bring private sector empty homes back into use.

Shaheena Din, National Manager for the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, said: "We’re delighted to be working with the council to develop the empty homes service in South Lanarkshire. It makes no sense for properties to be sitting empty, potentially causing problems for neighbours, when they could be homes for people.

"Last year 1, 128 homes were brought back into use following intervention by a local council in Scotland, more than 90% of them in areas with a dedicated empty homes officer. We look forward to South Lanarkshire seeing fantastic results from this enhanced service."