A fair number of our practitioners have been happy to get referrals of empty homes via the Great British Property Scandal web-page and appreciate the way the campaign has raised the profile of empty homes generally.
To make the Empty Homes Network an even richer experience for its Members, we're going to reward Members who post the most useful contributions to the web-site - a bit like a "Letter of the Month" or "Star Letter". You can win up to £25 with your contribution.
This is a long-range announcement - call it a pre-announcement if yoiu like - that EHN will be holding its next Annual Conference in May 2012. After brief discussions with the charity Empty Homes, with whom we jointly organised the very successful 2011 Home Again Conference, we've decided to revert to our own independent Conference in 2012. Future joint events with Empty Homes are also on the cards, however.
We'll expect to be offering the excellent value that our previous events have achieved, with significant discounts for EHN paying members.
The Empty Homes Network has a new Treasurer following Sue Haigh's decision to step down from the role after a re-organisation at Exeter City Council.
The Executive is putting forward proposals to revise the Constitution of EHN which will mean among other things that Annual General Meetings will be replaced by Regular General Meetings, scheduled to happen every two years in the current draft. The discussion on these changes will happen at a Special General meeting that is being conducted as a virtual meeting on our forums here.
Participation in the debate and voting rights are restricted to Full Members of EHN only.
This is an unusual news story. The "news" is your contributions about Final EDMOs.
We want a place where people that have been involved with Final EDMOs - including those that don't eventually proceed but were close to doing so - can register the fact they have been involved. The more information you contribute the better - you can help your communities and your colleagues by describing the problems you have overcome (or failed to overcome!).
In order to try and clarify the constraints on HCA's ability to fund empty homes work outside of its normal grant funding regimes the Empty Homes Network has undertaken a review of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 which established the HCA and sets out its powers and any limits thereon, or special requirements.
The EHN has released an updated version of its Briefing on funding from the HCA. The latest version includes details of the recently announced Temporary Empty Homes grant scheme and includes the response from the HCA to our request for clarification on the new product.
Having reviewed the Temporary Empty Homes product developed by the Homes and Communities Agency as the successor to Temporary Social Housing Grant, the EHN has now written to the HCA asking for clarification on some issues. The letter can be downloaded from our library from here.
Amongst other things we've raised questions about the rent levels, particularly in relation to homelessness accommodation, and about how the product would work with EDMOs. We've also raised concerns about the lease length of 5 years.