Boarded up house

Bringing unoccupied homes across Scotland back into use could help ease the shortage of affordable housing, a charity has said.

Shelter Scotland has estimated that at least 27,000 privately-owned homes are lying empty.

But it said government figures showed 150,000 families were on waiting lists.

The charity said it had brought more than 1,200 properties back into use by helping owners sell or refurbish them for rental but that more could be done.

It has estimated the value of homes lying empty across the country at more than £4.3bn, based on the average sale price of houses in Scotland of £160,000.

Ahead of its annual conference the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership (SEHP), which is run by Shelter and funded by the Scottish government, said owners of private homes which had been empty for more than six months should make more of their assets and bring much needed housing stock back into use.

It said the scale of the problem was shown by figures which revealed that 35,764 households made homelessness applications in 2014-15.

full article at : BBC news