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Empty Homes Partnership Award - #1

This Award was relaunched in 2018 with the very welcome support of Cromwood Social, represented by Abdus Saleh at October's Empty Homes Conference. 

With Abdus’s support Cromwood had previously sponsored other awards, but the partnership award they sponsored this year was a natural fit for them – as those authorities that have worked with Cromwood have always be happy to testify. (It’s worth noting here that the Network only accepts sponsorship from organisations that we believe can make a genuine contribution to the work practitioners do).

In previous years,  there have been specific categories for different types of partnership – between local authorities and housing associations, between local authorities and community groups – but this year we left the type of partnership open. The fact that all the submissions featured local authorities is a good reminder about the central role that councils play in bringing empty homes back into use. 

Best Before-and-After Photos Award 2018

This was the second year we had run this Award category, thanks to sponsorship from Homesmatch. As Homesmatch specialise in transforming properties – not just empty ones but occupied ones too  – there was a natural fit with their business model. Contributing to the Conference Brochure, Cath Whelan, MD of Homesmatch, wrote

“We at Homesmatch offer innovative, approaches to matching property buyers and sellers. Importantly for empty homes owners, not only can we help them find purchasers, but we can also source finance to help them upgrade their homes to make them more readily saleable or lettable. So we are really pleased to get the opportunity to demonstrate our support for the people that are working day in, day out to bring empties back into use”.

Once again this was a hotly contested award, with more submissions received than in any other category. And once again, the subjective aspect involved in judging photographs made picking a winner particularly hard.

Empty Homes Practitioner of theYear #2 - Lorna Frost

Today’s piece will recognize the achievement of the joint winner of the Empty Homes Practitioner of the Year Award 2018, Lorna Frost, Environmental Health Officer, at the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council.

The nomination for her award came from her manager, David North, Empty Homes and Loans Manager for the council, who gives the fascinating details of the case in question below. During Empty Homes Week, the local newspaper ran a feature article about the property and the work of the empty homes team .

Empty Homes Practitioner of theYear #1 - Sue Li

The Empty Homes Awards were presented at the 2018 Conference in Birmingham on 18th October, and we'll be recognising the various award winners in news items over the next few days. 

First up are the winners of the Empty Homes Practitioner of the Year Award, sponsored by Kent No Use Empty.

There were two winner this year and we think they each deserve their own story. Today, we are recognising the achievement of Sue Li.

 

Sue Lie with Steve Grimshaw

Picture: Sue Li receives her certificate from Steve Grimshaw of Kent No Use Empty.

Sue won her award based on a submission that detailed her very substantial track record at Derby City Council, but it is worth mentioning that this follows on from a similarly impressive track record at Amber Valley Borough Council. Moreover, she has been a stalwart of the Empty Homes Network, serving on the Executive for many years and currently our Vice-Chair. She has also been a leading light of the East Midlands Empty Property Forum.

2018 Conference 'highlight of Empty Homes Week'

Will McMahon, the Director of campaigning charity Action on Empty Homes, praised our Empty Homes Conference as a 'highlight' of Empty Homes Week, in his blog post on our website.

Action on Empty Homes took the opportunity of the Conference to relaunch the organisation under its new title, with Will McMahon (pictured left) introducing himself to the practitioner world at large by initiating a dialogue with those present.

As part of the relaunch, the website has been freshened up and assigned a new domain: www.actiononemptyhomes.org

A highlight of the conference itself was the launch of the Property Guardian Providers Association. The  PGPA was the main sponsor of the Conference, helping us keep the event at affordable prices for cash-strapped local authorities.

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Success during Empty Homes Week

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Empty Homes Awards deadlines extended

We don't feel we have had enough submissions in 3 of our Empty Homes Awards Categories, and so we are extending the deadline for these for another week, until 2359 on Tuesday, 9th October.

The three Awards categories we are holding open are:

  • Innovation Award – sponsored by E.ON
  • Practitioner of the Year Award – sponsored by Kent No Use Empty
  • 'Rising Star' Award – sponsored by Orbis Protect

It seems that modesty prevails. Don't be shy - your work is more valuable than you may think.

Orbis Protect sponsors new ‘Rising Star’ Award

We are pleased to announce that Orbis Protect is sponsoring a new ‘Rising Star’ Award as part of this year’s Empty Homes Awards. This award is intended to recognise and reward emerging empty homes practitioners who have made significant contributions over a short period of time.

Louis Fordham, Orbis Protect - Business Development Director for the Social Housing Sector, said: