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Conference Date Announced!

The date for this year's National Empty Homes Conference has been announced, and will be held on Wednesday 25th September, 2019.

Held to coincide with Action on Empty Homes' Empty Homes Week, the Conference will again be held at etcVenues in Birmingham.

For more information on Speakers, Sponsorship Opportunities and to book your place, visit our dedicated webpage here.

Action on Empty Homes launches 'Community Action on Empty Homes' report

Action on Empty Homes (formerly The Empty Homes Agency), has launched its report entitled 'Community Action on Empty Homes', outlining its findings of a three-year study of 6 community led projects. 

Whilst outlining the fantastic work done by these community groups, the report also issues a call to action on Local Authorities, Central Government, Funding Partners and Housing Associations to do more with the tools and resources available, to return more empty homes to use across the Country.

Commenting on the release, Director of Action on Empty Homes Will McMahon said:

There are positive and valuable lessons in this report of interest to all those who are concerned with tackling the waste of empty homes across the country. We want to encourage the creation of more community-based partnerships, to bring empty homes into use for local people and through doing so to help address the persistent underlying issues that keep people locked into poor housing and locked out of a safe, secure and affordable home.

'Rising Star' Award 2018 - Winner

A newly created award for the 2018 Conference, The Rising Star Award was sponsored by Orbis Protect (www.orbisprotect.com)who specialise in the protection and management of empty property and buildings. 

This year’s winner of the Rising Star Award was Tom Davies of Thant District Council.

The aim of this award was to focus on the successes of practitioners who had made significant contributions in their roles, albeit in a short period of time. Tom, whose willingness to learn and impressive early experience in pursuing enforcement action, not only impressed the judging panel, but showed that the correct use of enforcement powers can bear fruit, at any stage of your empty homes career.

Tom’s enthusiasm and ability to transfer skills from his previous role as an estate agent has proved fruitful in the role of empty homes practitioner, and this was thoroughly demonstrated through the award nomination submission.

Empty Homes Partnership Award - #2

Following on from Friday’s news item, here is the other winning submission for the 2018 Partnership Award. It comes from Bolsover District Council and Action Housing.

Housing Associations have become rather thin on the ground for local authorities looking for partners, so it is particularly valuable to see what can be achieved by a committed association that is able to unlock Homes England funding.  In some long-ago era ,this partnership might have been described as run-of-the-mill: today it can only be regarded as exemplary and perhaps not surprisingly has involved, in Action Housing, an association with a strong roots in community engagement and a commitment to delivering outcomes for vulnerable people, recalling a time when there was a ‘housing association movement’.

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. 

OTHER STORIES

Projects and Empty Homes Officers sought for the BBC's Empty Housing Scandal, Series 2

Production company TwoFour are seeking Empty Homes Projects and Officers for a second series of their successful BBC1 Series, The Empty Housing Scandal.

After producing a very popular 5 episode series highlighting both the scale of the problem, as well as the incredible work done by officers up and down the Country, TwoFour have been commissioned to produce a second series, this time running for 10 episodes.

Steve Grogan, of TwoFour:

BBC - The Empty Housing Scandal

Last chance for Expressions of Interest for delivery of EHN support role

We have received an informal Expression of Interest from an individual about taking on the entire support role for EHN (as undertaken by David Gibbens over the last few years). We believe this is likely to produce a deliverable offer.

If anyone else is interested, in the first instance you should register an informal Expression of Interest by 28th December by contacting David Gibbens – message 07528 312932 with your contact details or email him at secretary@ehnetwork.org.uk.