Homeless charity helps launch empty homes hotline in Scotland
A free national helpline has been set up in Scotland which will allow members of the public to report empty homes in their communities.
Created by the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, funded by the government and manned within homelessness charity Shelter Scotland’s offices, the helpline hopes to bring empty homes back into the community, reports 24dash.
Shelter Scotland believe that 150,000 families and individuals are waiting for homes and 27,000 long-term private properties in Scotland are empty.
The helpline will offer advice on a wide range of options for bringing empty homes back into use, linking callers with local empty homes officers dedicated to helping owners bring properties back into use and providing information on locally available empty homes funding.
Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “The launch of the national empty homes helpline is another step towards bringing more of Scotland’s 27,000 long-term private empty homes back into use. Whatever the reason for an empty home – whether it’s because the owner has sentimental attachment to it or they simply don’t have the finances to carry out repair work, help is available. Bringing empty homes back into use has many benefits and whilst this alone won’t solve Scotland’s housing crisis, it can be part of the solution. We encourage people to call the helpline if they know of a long-term empty home in their area, or if they’re in fact the owner of an empty property”
Minister for housing and welfare, Margaret Burgess MSP, said: “It makes absolute sense to make the best use possible of the 27,000 homes lying empty across the country when homelessness still exists. By calling the helpline to report empty homes the public can play their part in breathing new life into town centres, aiding community regeneration and bringing empty homes back in to use.”
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