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Retrofit Scotland present at Shelter Empty Homes Officers Network Meeting

Posted by: Laura on December 19 2016 | Tagged: Events, Industry News

Members of Retrofit Scotland were invited to present at Shelter’s Scottish Empty Homes Officers Network Best Practice meeting in Glasgow on 6th December. The event enabled members of Retrofit Scotland to better understand the work of the Empty Homes Officers and how their work could be aided by Retrofit Scotland.

Empty Homes Officers respond to complaints from the public, referrals from colleagues or self-referrals from owners of long-term empty private sector homes. They make contact with the owner, and seek to establish why the property is empty, and what is preventing it from being brought back into use. They will then provide advice and options for the owner as necessary, from advice on how to let out or a sell a property, all the way to offering grant or loan funding to renovate the property, where available.

Most Empty Homes Officers work alone within local authorities, very few local authorities employ more than one officer. Therefore the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership seeks to bring these officers together through formats such as an online forum, conferences and seminars, and the Best Practice Group. This allows members to talk openly about difficult issues they face, from wide-ranging issues such as council tax increases, to very specific issues such as a particular case they are struggling with and need some help.

Retrofit Scotland presented a background to our work, the resources we hold and selection of Case Studies which might be relevant to the Empty Homes Officers work. The Empty Homes Officers were then able to share their concerns around a variety of issues including:

-       Effectively providing property owners with concise and accurate advice on energy efficiency upgrade options.

-       The impact the Scottish Government Regulation of Energy Efficiency in Private Sector Homes consultation will have on their work.

The event was successful with regards to information sharing with the potential that greater collaboration between Retrofit Scotland and Shelter Empty Homes Officers can inform each other’s work in the future. 

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