Question reference: S6W-17301
- Date lodged: 20 April 2023
Current status: Answered by Paul McLennan on 4 May 2023
To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to bring derelict and empty homes in rural and island communities back into habitable use.
The Scottish Government funds the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership to work with local authorities, empty homes officers and private owners to return homes to active use. The range of tools available to help incentivise owners to take action include the council tax premium, VAT discounts and grant funding through the Affordable Housing Supply Programme for acquisitions, key worker housing and the Rural & Islands Housing Fund.
As we move into phase two of the Partnership project we want to develop a more strategic approach to bringing empty homes back into use and embed this within the Partnership and its delivery partners. This will help us deliver on our aims of making best use of existing stock and increasing the supply of affordable housing for those that need it. An independent audit is also underway to gather evidence about the effectiveness of our current approach and help with thinking on options for future policy and funding.