Social enterprise letting agency Homes for Good (HfG) and the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership (SEHP) have launched a partnership to address the rising number of empty homes in the west of Scotland, including Renfrewshire, through the purchase and letting of empty properties, a fund to refurbish properties, and the recruitment of a dedicated empty homes manager.
Through the new programme, HfG will invest in up to 30 privately-owned empty properties in the west of Scotland in the next two years. The organisation will refurbish and furnish these empty homes and let them out to tenants with low incomes or on benefits.
Councillor Natalie Don, the SNP’s candidate for Renfrewshire North & West, said: “Renfrewshire Council already has an empty homes officer who has helped bring some empty properties back into productive use, so this new scheme seems a good expansion of what has been happening in Renfrewshire.
SNP-led Renfrewshire Council has ambitious plans to not only increase council housing across the county, but also upgrade more of our existing properties, including spending £100million over 10 years to modernise homes.
However, there is a problem with some private properties lying empty for years and this approach – following on from the work already in place in Renfrewshire – could help bring more homes into use.”
Susan Aktemel, executive director for Homes for Good, said: “Empty properties are a desperately needed and much wasted resource in Scotland’s towns and cities. There is nothing more rewarding than working with an owner to overcome to challenges of an empty property, bringing that property back to life and into brilliant condition, as a home for someone who needs it.”