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Report back from the Empty Homes Conference

[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 ]

Hi all,

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;

Personal Highlights from our EHN conference

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.

Newsletter 3 Empty Homes Week and News Round-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.’

Life in the Lakes - October 2018

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!

Life in the Lakes - Summer 2018

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. 

Hello! - Greetings from Will McMahon, Action on Empty Homes

I am just finishing my first full week as Director of Action on Empty Homes.

I come to the world of housing almost entirely new to the subject, barring my recent and ongoing involvement in the Community Plan for Holloway (see the link below).

My route here came by way of over a decade of work on criminal justice policy, where I learned prisons are full of some of the most vulnerable people in our country. Criminal justice has become a repository for people with the type of social problems we are finding it very difficult to resolve as a society. 

Life in the Lakes - April 2018

It’s been a strange year for me so far.  Half-way through January I managed to get second degree burns to my leg after knocking over a pot of coffee and it’s taken me a while to recover.  I’m being really careful around boiling kettles these days…

However the advantage of being off sick and then working from home meant I have had a lot of time to think about my approach to my empty homes work for 2018.

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