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Empty Homes Innovation Award 2018

Sponsorship of this year’s Innovation Award was provided by E.ON Empty Home Solutions, along with the sponsorship of the Awards Ceremony. Perhaps it’s a shame that this barred them from nominating themselves for the Award because, as innovation goes, a giant energy company involving itself in the gritty work of bringing empty homes back into use is certainly up there with the most original initiatives we’ve seen.

The outcomes of the partnerships being forged between the E.ON empty homes team and local authorities will be awaited with great interest. But we can already say for certain that never previously have practitioners enjoyed the support of an enterprise on the scale of E.ON; and for that reason alone we can with reasonable justification look forward to new possibilities emerging from the initiative. 

Empty Homes Partnership Award - #2

Following on from Friday’s news item, here is the other winning submission for the 2018 Partnership Award. It comes from Bolsover District Council and Action Housing.

Housing Associations have become rather thin on the ground for local authorities looking for partners, so it is particularly valuable to see what can be achieved by a committed association that is able to unlock Homes England funding.  In some long-ago era ,this partnership might have been described as run-of-the-mill: today it can only be regarded as exemplary and perhaps not surprisingly has involved, in Action Housing, an association with a strong roots in community engagement and a commitment to delivering outcomes for vulnerable people, recalling a time when there was a ‘housing association movement’.

Empty Homes Partnership Award - #1

This Award was relaunched in 2018 with the very welcome support of Cromwood Social, represented by Abdus Saleh at October's Empty Homes Conference. 

With Abdus’s support Cromwood had previously sponsored other awards, but the partnership award they sponsored this year was a natural fit for them – as those authorities that have worked with Cromwood have always be happy to testify. (It’s worth noting here that the Network only accepts sponsorship from organisations that we believe can make a genuine contribution to the work practitioners do).

In previous years,  there have been specific categories for different types of partnership – between local authorities and housing associations, between local authorities and community groups – but this year we left the type of partnership open. The fact that all the submissions featured local authorities is a good reminder about the central role that councils play in bringing empty homes back into use. 

Best Before-and-After Photos Award 2018

This was the second year we had run this Award category, thanks to sponsorship from Homesmatch. As Homesmatch specialise in transforming properties – not just empty ones but occupied ones too  – there was a natural fit with their business model. Contributing to the Conference Brochure, Cath Whelan, MD of Homesmatch, wrote

“We at Homesmatch offer innovative, approaches to matching property buyers and sellers. Importantly for empty homes owners, not only can we help them find purchasers, but we can also source finance to help them upgrade their homes to make them more readily saleable or lettable. So we are really pleased to get the opportunity to demonstrate our support for the people that are working day in, day out to bring empties back into use”.

Once again this was a hotly contested award, with more submissions received than in any other category. And once again, the subjective aspect involved in judging photographs made picking a winner particularly hard.

OTHER STORIES

Empty Homes Practitioner of theYear #1 - Sue Li

The Empty Homes Awards were presented at the 2018 Conference in Birmingham on 18th October, and we'll be recognising the various award winners in news items over the next few days. 

First up are the winners of the Empty Homes Practitioner of the Year Award, sponsored by Kent No Use Empty.

There were two winner this year and we think they each deserve their own story. Today, we are recognising the achievement of Sue Li.

2018 Conference 'highlight of Empty Homes Week'

Will McMahon, the Director of campaigning charity Action on Empty Homes, praised our Empty Homes Conference as a 'highlight' of Empty Homes Week, in his blog post on our website.

Action on Empty Homes took the opportunity of the Conference to relaunch the organisation under its new title, with Will McMahon (pictured left) introducing himself to the practitioner world at large by initiating a dialogue with those present.