Housing

Bring empty homes back into use after lockdown, charity urges

Residential tower blocks
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Bringing empty homes back into use should be a cornerstone of the post-pandemic recovery, a charity has said.

Shelter Scotland said progress has been made in making long-term empty properties liveable homes again, with 1,412 being made available over the last year - a 25% increase from the previous period.

Working with the Scottish government, the charity is trying to recover about 40,000 properties which have lain empty for six months or longer.

But it warned that progress could stall if local authorities do not make recovering empty homes a part of their strategy for economic recovery.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said the Scottish government was actively working with the charity's Empty Homes Partnership partnership.

"The skills and expertise of empty homes officers will be invaluable in helping us face this unprecedented challenge," he added.

Sir Keir Starmer on Robert Jenrick and Westferry planning application
Sir Keir Starmer says the housing secretary’s role in the Westferry planning case was now at the stage “where the prime minister’s judgement is an issue”.

Councils to pay landlords to help residents on benefits

London councils are having to pay landlords financial incentives to get them to accept tenants on benefits.

Charities have criticised the move, saying the money would be better spent on social housing.

Before the introduction of Universal Credit, Housing Benefit was paid directly to landlords.

Appearing before Parliament's Work and Pension's Committee, London Council's executive member for welfare and Brent Council leader, Cllr Muhammed Butt, told MPs they'd been left with little choice.

New homes 'will helping building industry to recover'

BBC Radio Jersey

Jersey's States-owned housing company says bringing forward the start of major projects will create 550 new homes while helping the building industry to recover after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Andium Homes said it hoped to support the island's economic recovery by offering major projects to local building firms.