5 Not all local authorities were able to participate, and this is reflected in the profile of responses set out in the findings.
6 It should also be noted that not all respondents answered all questions, either by reason of choice or the routing of the survey. Specific bases for individual questions are quoted within the survey findings text.
7 Throughout, response numbers may not sum to 100%, either due to rounding or as multiple responses were allowed for certain questions.
8 As at March 2023 or within the last 5 years.
10 As of June 2023, the majority of councils (25) choose to charge second homeowners the full rate of council tax, which is the maximum they are able to apply within the current legal framework. The remaining seven councils apply a 10% discount for second homes, although in Orkney this only applies for 12 months.
11 Long-term empty properties are those empty for more than 6 months throughout the report, unless specified otherwise.
13 Established through interviews with local authorities and wider stakeholders.
19 Most of the respondents indicated that their figures were for January, February or March of 2023, while most of the remainder were from late 2022. Two respondents reported data from earlier – May or July 2022.
25 Albert, M. (2021) ‘Citizen social science in practice: the case of the Empty Houses Project’ Humanities and Social Sciences Communications 8:70
26 Pearson N. (2018) ‘Ghost-Home Tax Fills Vancouver Coffers But Rentals Remain Scarce’ Bloomberg.com 04/26
27 Manda P. (2015) ‘Preparing Our Housing for the Transition to a Post-Baby Boom World : Reflections on Japan's May 26, 2015 Vacant Housing Law’ Cityscape 01/01;17(3): pp239-248
38 Seirin-Lee S., Nomata M., Mukunoki M (2019) ‘Mathematical modeling and regionality-based optimal policy to reduce empty houses, Akiya, in Japan’ Japanese Journal of Industrial and Applied Mathematics 37(2):365-382
43 Data provided by Scottish Empty Homes Partnership April 2023. This includes all homes brought back into use by local authority EHOs, and local authority grant or other empty homes schemes.
44 Data provided by Scottish Government, itemised by individual interventions in following chapters. It should be noted there may be a small amount of double counting between the SEHP reported empty homes brought back into use and those reported under the separate Scottish Government funding schemes.
47 Almost 6% of properties in Na h-Eileanan Siar were second homes in 2021, with a 0.4 percentage point (pp) increase since 2016. Highland had around 3% second homes but had seen a 0.4 pp reduction in recent years, as had the City of Edinburgh with 0.6% of properties recorded as second homes (down 0.4pp). Shetland had 1.6% (up 0.2 pp).
49 A grant of Confirmation in Scotland is a legal document issued by sheriff courts in favour of executors. This enables the executors of an estate to deal with the deceased's assets.
50 The Empty Homes Loan scheme is discussed in detail in chapter 5.
51 Scottish Government regulation require all private rented sector properties to reach a minimum standard equivalent to EPC C by 2025 where technically feasible and cost-effective, at change of tenancy, with a backstop of 2028 for all remaining existing properties. See Scottish Government: Energy efficiency policy
52 The description is combined with data obtained through SEHP, the SEHP Annual Survey (2022), interviews with local authorities and wider stakeholders, and the evidence review undertaken for this research.
58 The Scottish Government’s evidence review (2023) identified that in 2016 just over half Scottish LAs had an EHO. The Scottish Government’s Review of Private Rented Sector (2009) remarked on the Empty Homes Initiative, a previous challenge fund initiative that ran from 1998-99 to 2001-02 which aimed to address local empty homes issues and that ‘Since the end of the Empty Homes Initiative in 2001-02, empty homes activity by Scottish local authorities has markedly declined....As the financial support for empty homes initiatives and empty homes officers ceased, possibly so did their work and, also, their posts which were largely fixed-term.'
59 Rudman, M. (2014) ‘Empty homes Wales: one year on’ Welsh Housing Quarterly No. 94 Mar 2014 pp54-56
68 Scottish Empty Homes Partnership Annual Report 2022, augmented by interview with Glasgow City Council, March 2023.
85 Ceranic B., Markwell G., Dean A. (2017) ‘Too Many Empty Homes, Too Many Homeless – A Novel Design and Procurement Framework for Transforming Empty Homes through Sustainable Solutions’ Energy Procedia 111: pp558-567
86 Mullins D. (2018) ‘Achieving policy recognition for community-based housing solutions: the case of self-help housing in England’ International Journal of Housing Policy 03;18(1): pp143-155
88 Ceranic B., Markwell G., Dean A. (2017) ‘Too Many Empty Homes, Too Many Homeless – A Novel Design and Procurement Framework for Transforming Empty Homes through Sustainable Solutions’ Energy Procedia 111: pp558-567
90 Carnuccio, M. (2014) ‘Re-imagining regeneration: empty and difficult to let homes’ National Housing Federation
94 This will include current and past empty homeowners.
95 Based on the data available, although there may be other partners’ funding for the project e.g. staff costs in the Scottish Government and local authorities to run the scheme etc.
96 Present values have been provided by Scottish Government, based on additional data available within Government Departments
97 Excludes the total cost of Rural and Islands Housing Fund projects.
98 The total number of empty homes of 9,175 assumes the loans fund and grant schemes are in addition to the core EHO/SEHP interventions.
99 Excludes the total cost of the Rural and Islands Housing Fund projects.
100 There was one project which included loan funding as well, but this was omitted for simplicity and comparability.
101 Since the loan agreements are not with the Scottish Government, the calculation was based on those units for which the data needed for a present value calculation was readily to hand.
102 There was at least one unit which was for market rent, but in this case the loan had to repaid in just over two years.
103 This is derived using the HMT Green Book discount factors, and assumes that the benefit from an affordable unit is constant (in real terms) over time.
104 Based on the data available, although there may be other partners’ funding for the project e.g. staff costs in the Scottish Government and local authorities to run the scheme etc.
105 Scottish Government guidance issued in May 2013 stated that council tax income generated from second and unoccupied homes falls into 2 categories: - Existing powers where income is received from reducing the discount anywhere between 50% and 10% for both long-term empty homes and second-homes: income generated in this category will continue to be ring-fenced for affordable housing and should be used in accordance with section 4 of this guidance below. - Any new income received from the new legislation through reducing the discount on long-term empty properties below the previous 10% limit or increasing council tax. This income is not ring-fenced and can be used as the local authority sees fit on housing or other priorities. See Council tax on second and long-term unoccupied homes: guidance
107 Barth, B. (2017) ‘Immigrant City’ Planning Jun 83(6): pp12-17
113 A Rural Housing Burden allows a Rural Housing Body to be able to keep future sales of the property within the community through a right of pre-emption. In the event of a sale, the Rural Housing Body has the first opportunity to purchase the property. See Scottish Government – Housing Burdens.
115 Mullins D. (2018) ‘Achieving policy recognition for community-based housing solutions: the case of self-help housing in England’ International Journal of Housing Policy 03;18(1): pp143-155
116 Ceranic B., Markwell G., Dean A. (2017) ‘Too Many Empty Homes, Too Many Homeless – A Novel Design and Procurement Framework for Transforming Empty Homes through Sustainable Solutions’ Energy Procedia 111: pp558-567
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