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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Scottish Greens Call for More Funding to Tackle Empty Homes Crisis

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Ariane Burgess MSP has urged the Scottish Government to increase funding for empty homes officers to help address Scotland’s housing emergency.

The call comes after the First Minister highlighted empty homes as being key to tackling the housing crisis during recent comments.

In a question to the Housing Minister the morning, the Scottish Green MSP for the Highlands & Islands said:

“In Tiree, a constituent was recently on the brink of leaving the island where her family work and volunteer, because they could not find a home to rent.

“36% of homes in Tiree do not meet local needs, as they are either holiday lets or empty homes.

“Argyll & Bute Council and Tiree Community Development Trust are working hard with the resources they have to address this, but many people across the Highlands and Islands still can’t find or afford a decent home in the community where they want to live.

“What more is the Scottish Government doing to get empty properties back into use as homes for people who need them?”

Speaking after her question, Ms Burgess commented:

“It is a national scandal that so many homes are lying empty while families struggle to find an affordable place to live in their community.

“On Tiree, over a third of properties are either vacant or used as holiday accommodation, leaving islanders like my constituent with no choice but to consider leaving.

“This is an all-too-common story across the Highlands and Islands.

“Bringing empty homes back into use is one of the quickest ways we can start to alleviate the housing crisis.

“But councils need proper funding to employ dedicated empty homes officers who can identify vacant properties and work with owners to get them re-occupied.

“The Scottish Greens are pushing for more investment in this area.

“We simply cannot allow properties to remain empty when there is such huge demand for housing.”

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