The Empty Homes Conference 2016 - Birmingham, 24th May

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 10:00 to 16:45
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

Date for your diary:

We now have an agreed date for the 2016 National Empty Homes Conference of Tuesday, 24th May, 2016.  The Conference will be held at Maple House in Birmingham - the same venue we've used for the last four years.

Collage of previous conferences Timetable for the day

  • 09.00 to 10.00 registration and breakfast
  • 10.00 to 13.00 morning session
  • 13.00 to 13.50 lunch
  • 13.50 to 16.45 afternoon session

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 (where available) can 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.

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.

Outline Programme

The confirmed programme is indicated below; speakers still need to be finalised for one or two sessions.

  • In his brief Sponsor’s Welcome, Jason Barnard of Ad Hoc Property Management Ltd. will describe the initiatives being taken by Ad Hoc to introduce agreed professional standards within the Property Guardian industry.
  • Duncan Baxter describes a new approach to maximising New Homes Bonus, with Destin Solutions’ VISION Empty Property Review Service sourcing vital credit and financial background to support in-house visiting officers at Preston and Lancaster councils - a model that is clearly transferable to empty homes teams carrying out work around NHB.
  • Since last year, David Mullins and Halima Sacranie of Birmingham University have conducted important new research into the successes of the Community Grants Programme. Even more importantly they've drawn on that research to produce an Impact Briefing on joint working between local authorities and community housing organisations to tackle empty homes, which will be launched at the Conference.
  • Helen Williams, Chief Executive of our champions the Empty Homes Agency, will explore the issues and opportunities facing us following the 2015 election, with empty homes no longer figuring as an explicit part of the official programme of government. She'll also respond to issues raised by delegates.
  • Andrew Lavender of Housing Training and Law Consultancy Ltd. will again offer his ever-popular Practitioner Surgery where he is guaranteed to be able to answer case queries around enforcement, loans, grants, and, come to think of it, just about anything you care to mention. To meet popular demand, we're expecting two surgeries this year.
  • In this year’s exemplar empty homes strategy slot, Mark Ireland from  Leeds City Council will outline key areas of innovation,  including work  with third parties such as Empty Homes Doctor  and  Canopy.
  • In turn, Steve Hoey of Canopy Housing - World Habitat Award winners - will provide detailed insight into how their self-help-housing approach provides significant added value to the work of the City Council and the public sector generally.
  • Local authority practitioners will be keen to hear Chris Skinner of nplaw (Norfolk County Council’s shared legal service) explore changed aspects of compulsory purchase in the wake  of the Housing and Planning Act.
  • Harvey Ellingham of Home Improvement Guarantee will describe how this innovative scheme can help overcome the fears of reluctant empty home owners who need to deal with builders in order to get repairs done.
  • Steve Grimshaw of Kent County Council will give us the latest information about the Kent No Use Empty initiative, which celebrated its 10th anniversay last year. He'll pay particular attention to the key lessons of the loans scheme and the delivery of affordable housing via HCA grant funding.
  • Anthony John from Fraser and Fraser, genealogists and international probate researchers, will outline how their comprehensive tracing service can help local authorities deal with missing owners and empty homes.
  • We are looking forward to hearing some interesting case material from Mark Siddall from Broadland District Council, who will  be running through important lessons  from a Final EDMO case as well as drawing on his extensive experience of EDMO applications generally.
  • David Ireland, well known to us for his previous career in the field of empty homes, will draw on the international perspective gained through his role as Chief Executive of the Building and Social Housing Foundation to show how empty homes become a political issue and focus of community struggles in places as diverse as Palestine, Johannesburg and Liverpool.
  • Community Protection Notices offer a new tool in the empty homes toolbox. David Armstrong of Derwent Chambers and Mallard Consultancy is a nationally-recognised barrister specialising in this area of law: he'll explore the potential in an illuminating session on CPNs.
  • Cath Whelan and Charlie Stewart describe the unique property matching service of Homesmatch, which offers a whole new avenue for  owners of empty homes to find a solution to their problem along with opportunities for partnering other organisations to bring large numbers of homes back into use simultaneously.

Travel and Accommodation arrangements

The event will be held at: Maple House, 150 Corporation St., Birmingham, B4 6TB (same venue as last year).

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 soon enough (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 are a mere £176 on the day, as a comparator, so exploring these cheaper options is well worthwhile.

Empty Homes Awards

For details of the awards, please see our story here.

Downloadable documents

See file attachments below.

Type of event: 


We're pleased to announce that David Armstrong, LLB, will speak on Community Protection Notices. David is a highly experienced lawyer whose full biography follows (we won't be able to reproduce it in full on our brochure).

David Armstrong, LL.B. Barrister at Law.

Derwent Chambers, Derby.

David is a practising Barrister, highly experienced in all areas of local authority regulation and contentious work.

He is widely acknowledged nationally as an expert in local authority and public sector contentious and regulatory matters, with a particular specialism in ASB and environmental regulation. David acted as the Defra nominated Chair of the host Boroughs’ 2012 Olympic coordinating committee.

David is also known to many local authority officers as “the Wig”, through his specialist support work with the Mallard Consultancy Network and, formerly, as legal adviser to the Cleaner Safer Greener Network and Keep Britain Tidy. Mallard operates a national support service for almost 100 local authorities across a broad spectrum of ASB, environmental and other regulation.

David has worked extensively for many years with DEFRA, the Home Office, and agencies such as Keep Britain Tidy, Keep Wales Tidy, Chartered Institute of Wastes Management, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.

David has conducted all forms of court proceedings, both civil and criminal, at various levels. He had conduct of the largest criminal prosecution case brought by a local authority in England, requiring coordination of 27 warrant searches and over 400,000 exhibits. David also notably had conduct of two significant local authority Court of Appeal cases, and won the first appeal test case on the scope of Part I Environmental Protection Act 1990 authorisations.

David has worked with central government on the drafting of key environmental legislation and authored several of Defra’s guides on environmental regulation, including those relating to litter and waste regulation, litter clearing and street litter control. He has also been a Solicitors Regulation Authority accredited CPD trainer to the legal profession since 1996.

We're pleased that Steve Hoey will now be speaking as a World Habitat Award winner for  Canopy Housing's work in self-help housing.

Many congratulations to Steve and his team and to joint award winners Giroscope and we're proud that you'll be speaking at our Conference.

For further details of the awards win, see our news story here.