Latest figures from the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership (SEHP), annual report show that 859 privately owned long-term empty homes were brought back into use. Of these, only 28 were in areas that do not have a dedicated empty house officer (EHO).
A further four were supported back into use by the Scottish Empty Homes Advice Service.
Adam Lang, head of communications and policy at Shelter Scotland which hosts the SEHP on behalf of the SNP Government, said:
"These figures show that putting resources into tackling long-term privately-owned empty homes is an effective way of increasing available housing.
“It’s fantastic to see more than 859 homes brought back into use in one year. That’s 859 more homes that are badly needed.
“The councils that are not investing in this area of work are missing out on the money new residents bring into the local economy, missing out on council tax revenue and missing out on an opportunity to act on neighbourhood priorities where empty properties are attracting anti-social behaviour.”
Meanwhile a new poll has found that only 20% of Scots think councils are doing enough to reduce the number of long-term empty homes in their area.
The research was carried out by YouGov on behalf of the SEHP, which said the results back its findings that residents are frustrated by the lack of action to tackle the waste and eyesore of empty homes.
Kenneth Gibson added:
“The work of the dedicated empty homes officers has proven invaluable in everything SEHP has achieved.
“Clearly there is still some way to go to ensure every area benefits, and local authorities across the country should be capitalising on the opportunities they provide.
“That partnership working can help realise our ambitions of an empty homes service in every area and bringing back as many of our long-term empty homes as we can.”