Making more affordable housing available in Argyll and Bute

Published Date: 

2 Dec 2014 - 12:12

Local people have more options when it comes to finding affordable housing, thanks to Argyll and Bute Council’s innovative work in bringing empty homes back into use.

The council’s achievement has attracted two major awards from the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership. It recognises work done by the empty homes officer to bring 100 properties back into use during the past year by providing advice to homeowners. This achievement has boosted available, affordable housing in Argyll and Bute’s communities.  

The council received the Scottish Empty Homes Champion of the year award for Outstanding Project, with judges recognising elements such as innovation and commitment to best practice.  

The second winner for Argyll and Bute Council was the Campbeltown Townscape Heritage Initiative which received the prize for Best Before and After Photo after providing grant funding to enable a tenement to be brought back into use after it had been placed on the Buildings at Risk Register.

The awards were presented at Shelter Scotland’s annual conference aimed at sharing best practice and experiences of bringing privates sector empty homes back into use.

Kristen Hubert, Empty Homes Coordinator for the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership said, “Argyll and Bute Council are a deserving winner of this award.  Over the past two years the council has built up an effective and wide ranging strategy for tackling empty homes, not easy when covering such a huge geographical area.  The empty homes officer, Kelly Ferns, has worked tirelessly and shown what can be achieved when you work in partnership with colleagues.  A great win, for a great team.” 

The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership exists to help councils and their partners pursue work to bring private sector empty homes back into use.  The project is funded by the Scottish Government and hosted by Shelter Scotland.

If you know of an empty home or property in your area, contact your local empty homes officer or report it at emptyhomes@shelter.org.uk

Argyll and Bute Council, Kelly Ferns, Housing Improvement Officer - Empty Homes 01369 708672 kelly.ferns@argyll-bute.gov.uk

Previously, the council’s housing and council tax teams took a silver award at the national Institute of Revenues, Ratings and Valuations (IRRV) Performance Awards 2014 for their entry to the Excellence in Innovation category.