Welcome to our latest newsletter - as you'll see we have relaunched with a new name and renewed focus!
I was really pleased to be invited to Maidstone to cut the ribbon at the official opening of the Boxley Road development in Maidstone.
This is the kind of Action on Empty Homes we want local authorities to take.
It is a great collaboration between partners on the ground and Kent County Council through their No Use Empty on an invest to save principle.
[I wrote this for the members of the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership - it was originally published in the Partnership's online area within Knowledge Hub ]
I attended the Empty Homes Network Conference in Birmingham last week. I was a bit lonely as I was the only one from Scotland there! But a big thanks to Lynne Leach from South Lakeland for keeping me company all day, and in the long wait for our train at Birmingham New Street.
Here are a few of my notes from the day;
So which were your highlights at Thursday’s annual conference? Of course it’ll depend on which workshops you attended, but what a great choice and which to attend?
These were my personal highlights and ‘awards’.
Funny moments award – Always goes to Nick P-G. Especially his ‘crowd-funding’ moments for David Gibbens’ leaving present IN FRONT OF David himself – hilarious! And his surreal introduction to Brighid Carey from Action on Empty Homes, you couldn’t make it up.
BBC TV Empty Homes series to be broadcast this year
Thanks to everyone who got in touch with the production company making the BBC’s new empty homes series. We don’t yet have a start date for the four programme series, but it is promised before Christmas. The working title is attention-grabbing, ‘Britain’s Housing Scandal’ and the BBC media centre tell us that the presenter ‘Matt Allwright is on a journey to seek out the UK’s empty homes and tell their stories.’
National Empty Homes Week is almost upon us once again (15 to 19 October). It’s helpful that our EHN conference is taking place the same week this year and I’m really looking forward to the varied mix of workshops and speakers. I find I often come away from the conference having learned something new and with another ‘tool’ for my empty homes toolkit. It’s also great to meet up with long-term friends in the empty homes ‘world’ and to meet new ones too. You can’t beat networking and sharing best practice!
There has been a flurry of media activity on empty homes since Friday 5 October. Chris Bailey, the campaign manager for Action in Empty Homes, has appeared in two stories that demonstrate the breadth of the empty homes issue.
Dear EH Network members,
Empty Homes Week 2018 - Monday 15 October to Sunday 21 October
Empty Homes are rising again in England Government figures show that across England over 205,000 homes have been empty for more than six months, within a wider vacant dwelling category of 605,000 homes.
My question to you is this – how do you carry on with your ‘proactive’ empty homes work without a current list of empty homes? And my reply is – it’s quite tricky!
So for the past six months I’ve been without a list of empty homes. This was due to our council tax group having a new system installed followed by time taken for staff training including training on how to run off tailored reports like the ones I get.