Empty Homes Conference 2017 - Birmingham, 24th May

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 -
10:00 to 16:50
Event Description: 

With thanks to our main sponsors:

On this page

Date of Event Promotional Opportunities Empty Homes Awards
Timetable for day Programme Conference Supporters
Delegate Rates         Travel and Accommodation Downloadable documents
  Contact Details  

Date for your diary:

We now have an agreed date for the 2017 National Empty Homes Conference of Wednesday, 24th May, 2017.  The Conference will be held at Maple House in Birmingham - the same venue we've used for the last four years.

Outline timetable for the day

  • 09.00 to 10.00 registration and breakfast
  • 10.00 to 12.50 morning session
  • 12.50 to 13.50 lunch
  • 13.50 to 14.05 Empty Homes Awards
  • 14.05 to 16.50 afternoon session

Outline Programme

The programme is indicated below; speaker details remain to be finalised for one session but we have commitments in principle from all the organisations shown below.

  • Guardians and guardian firms: Building a better Property Guardian industry.
    Rex Duis, a property guardian for over 7 years, is so keen to see higher standards he put his proposals into a detailed Charter. And the folks at Ad Hoc Property Management are committed to challenging the race to the bottom and driving out cowboy operators. Rex and Simon Finneran of Ad Hoc discuss the balance that needs to be achieved.
  • The challenge of empty homes: Dialogue with practitioners
    Helen Williams, Chief Executive of our champions the Empty Homes Agency, will offer insight into the challenges she faces and discuss with the delegates how we can work together to achieve our common goals.
  • Thinking big about empty homes: Opportunities to speed up property production
    Martin Yardley is Deputy Chief Executive (Place) at Coventry City Council and Chief Executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP  and will provide the strategic management perspective on tackling empties, which has been one of his long-term interests.
  • Probate and empty homes: Finding the way through
    They can be the ultimate challenge - long-term empties caught up in probate limbo. But there are solutions: Kerry Morgan-Gould and Vicki Green, solicitors at Ashfords LLP,  hack a path through the jungle.
  • Rural Empty Homes Strategy panel: Doing a lot with a little
    Tackling rural empty homes poses special challenges. Our panel of Will Abë (North Norfolk - last year's Innovation Award winner), Lynne Leach (South Lakeland)  will share their experiences in dialogue with the audience.
  • New Homes Bonus: What the changes mean
    Suddenly there is less New Homes Bonus. David Gibbens is the Network's resident specialist on this topic.  He'll explain the ins and outs of the new regime and why it still makes sense to invest in empty homes teams.
  • Community-led solutions: 'State of the Nation' review
    As Director of self-help-housing.org. Jon Fitzmaurice has been a key figure in promoting the role of community-led organisations in bringing empties back into use. Jon's state-of-the-nation review spells out the current opportunities and challenges for voluntary organisations and local authorities alike.
  • Empty Property Fraud: How to spot it, how to prevent it
    Empty homes, disengaged owners - it's a perfect recipe for fraud. Julie Jenkins of the Land Registry Counter-Fraud Division highlights the risks - and how you can help minimise them.
  • The Practitioner Surgery: Enforcement, loans, grants…and more
    Andrew Lavender of Housing Training and Law Consultancy Ltd. will offer his ever-popular Practitioner Surgery where he is guaranteed to be able to talk about cases at the hard end - including queries around enforcement, loans, grants -  and, come to think of it, just about anything else you care to mention.
  • VAT and empty homes: What you need to know
    We know there are special VAT rules for empties. But what are they exactly, and how do you avoid the pitfalls? Tamara Habberley of the VAT People provides expert insight.
  • Information is the key: How NAFN can help
    NAFN Data and Intelligence Services offers a gold-mine of information to its subscribers. It's a little-known resource that can help with anything from maximising New Homes Bonus to finding missing owners. Tracy Forth [tbc] explains what's on offer.
  • Making the case for an Empty Homes Officer: Tips from one who succeeded!
    Is your empty homes role precarious? Despite austerity, David Sanderson of Carlisle City Council describes how he has been there, done it and got the tee-shirt, providing the evidence to make his temporary job permanent. Vital for LA practitioners and managers alike.
  • The Plymouth approach: 20 years of experience
    This year’s exemplar empty homes strategy features Thelma Cunningham, who has led Plymouth City Council's effort for many years.

Delegate Rates

Thanks to the sponsorship from Ad Hoc Property Management, we are once again able to keep our prices well below those of comparable commercially-run events, despite increases in costs to us.

Rates are as low as £99 and there are hefty discounts for additional delegates. Paid-up Empty Homes Network members, as always, benefit from discounted rates:

Paid-up EHN Members Amount
First Delegate £149
Additional Delegate £119
Small, not-for-profit rate (all delegates) £99
Non-Members and Associates  
First Delegate £179
Additional Delegate £149
Small, not-for-profit rate (all delegates) £125







Booking form, brochure etc

The latest versions of the brochure, speaker details, booking form etc (if available) can always be found at the foot of this page.

Gold Conference Supporters

We're most grateful to our Gold Conference Supporters for helping us keep the cost of attending our Conference so low.  [Opportunities currently available].

Kent No Use Empty

Promotional Opportunities

Download our Promotional Opportunities brochure and other useful informatoin if you'd like to benefit from the publicity attached to this event. You can find these items on our dedicated web-page here.


    Travel and Accommodation arrangements

    The event will be held at the same venue as in previous years:
    Maple House, 150 Corporation St., Birmingham, B4 6TB

    You can download the directions from our Information Library here.

    NB it is worth trying to get your organisation to book early if you need to travel long distance. For example, rooms at most Birmingham Travelodge hotels were available for around £34 on the night of the 23rd  (ie the night before the event) as of 2nd February 2017. Unfortunately, the People's Favourite, namely the Moor Street Travelodge, is already up to £55.   We are not on commission from Travelodge and this is just to give an indication of possible costs of overnight accommodation if you book early.

    As for trains, if you are travelling through or from London the excellent Chiltern Railways service from Marylebone to Moor Hill or Snow Hill is likely to have Advance Single tickets from £7 each way on the day of the Conference if you purchase them long enough in advance (available from 24th Feb onwards). A more flexible off-peak  return fare would be £29 if travelling the day before or £49 on the day (to make the start of the Conference).  Anytime tickets from Euston on the day of the Conference are a mere £176, as a comparator, so exploring these cheaper options is well worthwhile.

    We'll post updates about travel and accommodation via the comment system.

    Empty Homes Awards

    See our news stories for details:

    Contact details

    For further information and bookings: David Gibbens:
    Tel.:   0303 04 01 008
    [leave a message: normal landline rates apply]
    or       07528 312932 [direct mobile]

    Downloadable documents

    See file attachments below.

    Type of event: 


    More details about our speakers have now been added, with biographies and photos - see under Downloadable Documents above. There are still one or two gaps in the information.

    The National Anti-Fraud Network has told us that they will be sending a different speaker as Tracy Forth is moving on to a different role. We await further details and will update the brochure when we know who is coming.

    Just to note that there have been various minor updates to the programme, speaker details and brochure in line with the latest situation.