New life poised for empty homes across Outer Hebrides

TWELVE empty properties are set to be returned into active use – as homes – across the Outer Hebrides.

The scheme involves local community agency, Tighean Innse Gall, Scottish Empty Homes Partnership – funded by the Scottish Government and hosted by the charity, Shelter Scotland – and the local authority.

Says a media announcement, here: “Tighean Innse Gall and the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership have launched a joint project to tackle the issue of empty homes in Outer Hebrides, working closely with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) to purchase and refurbish empty homes that will be made available to members of the community through social rent, mid-market rent, and rent-to-buy.

“A minimum of 12 homes will be brought back into use over the course of the two-year project, revitalising rural communities across the island[s] chain, making them more attractive to people and families who wish to remain on the island[s] and also attracting new people and families to re-locate to the islands.”

The announcement continues: “According to Scottish Government figures published in December 2021, 596 properties in Na h-Eileanan an Iar had been empty for six months or more. 462 of these had been empty for more than a year.

“Figures published by the Scottish Government in December showed that 43,766 homes were long-term empty across Scotland. This includes 596 homes in Na h-Eileanan Siar, 559 homes in Shetland Islands and 188 homes in Orkney Islands. Long-term empty properties are properties which are liable for Council Tax and have been empty for six months or more.”

Picture credit: Tighean Innse Gall