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Reasons for region’s empty homes

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Reasons for region’s empty homes

SOME of the reasons why privately-owned homes in the region are left empty for long periods of time have been revealed.

And the two top reasons are the fear of becoming a landlord and the responsibilities it brings, along with waiting for property prices to rise in order to sell.
A lack of motivation or know-how was also often quoted as a reason for leaving buildings empty for six months or longer, as well as a lack of insurance to cover the cost of repairing a damaged home.
Meanwhile, some empty home owners in Dumfries and Galloway admitted they had an emotional attachment to their empty homes and found it hard to let go of them because they had grown up there.
The data, compiled from calls made during the first year of a national free empty homes helpline, suggests that many of the country’s long-term empty homes could be brought back into use with the right advice and support for owners and communities.
And The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership has revealed that the estimated cost of refurbishing an empty home ranges from £6000- £25,000 – compared to the average £100,000 cost of a new build home.
The partnership, which is run by Shelter Scotland and funded by the Scottish Government, operates the free national helpline.
Explaining how the it works, spokeswoman Kristen Hubert said: “Once reports are received through the helpline from owners themselves or members of the community, an empty homes officer will work with everyone involved to facilitate bringing the property back into use, either through sale, rental or owner occupation.
“While 27,000 long term empty homes lay empty across Scotland there are 150,000 families and individuals on waiting lists for a home. Making use of the existing housing stock makes both social and economic sense.”
She added: “One year on from the launch of the empty homes helpline, we have helped owners in Dumfries and Galloway to start the process of bringing their properties back into use, either for themselves or others in need of a home.
*“Whatever the reason for an empty home, we are here to help find solutions.

To report an empty home, call 0344 515 1941.

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