OWNERS OF HOMES that have remained empty for many years are being urged to do more to ensure that they can be used again – with new hope that one such building in Moray may yet be saved.
The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership (SEHP) has this week highlighted an issue that is becoming increasingly serious in Moray and throughout Scotland, where they say there are currently 27,000 empty homes worth over £4.3billion.
The partnership are now urging owners to do more – in particular in a country that has over 150,000 families and individuals on housing waiting lists, many facing years before they can be homed – if at all.
SEHP is run by the homeless charity Shelter Scotland and has already helped in putting 1200 homes back into use.
Urging more action from around the country this week the director of Shelter Scotland, Graeme Brown, said: “Bringing Scotland’s empty homes back into use represents great value for money – but it also provides homes to families and individuals who would otherwise struggle to afford a home of their own.
“While we acknowledge that empty homes alone cannot solve the housing crisis, they can be part of the solution.”
The planning and regulatory services committee at Moray Council last month reported 110 empty properties in Moray that had been allowed to fall into disrepair, and pledged to take legal action against owners in an attempt to force them into addressing the problem.
One of the buildings identified was ‘Brae Lossie’, a home that had lain empty on Prospect Terrace in Lossiemouth for 20 years. Within days of the council meeting, however, fire broke out in the derelict building that led to speculation it would require to be demolished even before pressure had been placed on its owner.
However, it has emerged this week that the building may not, after all, need to be demolished with local councillor John Cowe reporting to the Lossiemouth Community Council this evening that on inspection the structure of Brae Lossie appears to be safe.
Councillor Cowe will also tell community councillors that Chief Inspector Campbell Thomson has offered assistance in attempting to contact the owner of Brae Lossie who is understood to live in Pasadena in the United States.