Social enterprise letting agency Homes for Good (HfG) has joined forces with the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership to purchase and let empty properties in the west of Scotland.

The organisations are also establishing a fund with which to refurbish properties and working to recruit a dedicated empty homes manager, who will identify suitable empty properties and work alongside HfG’s in-house asset management, interior design and tenancy support teams.

The new programme will see HfG invest in up to 30 privately-owned empty properties in the area over the next two years.

It will then refurbish the properties and let them to tenants with low incomes or on benefits.

Susan Aktemel, executive director for Homes for Good, said: “Empty properties are a desperately needed and much wasted resource in Scotland’s towns and cities. There is nothing more rewarding than working with an owner to overcome the challenges of an empty property, bringing that property back to life and into brilliant condition as a home for someone who needs it.”

According to Scottish Government figures published in December 2020, 47,333 properties in Scotland had been empty for six months or more, up 16 per cent (6,370) from the previous year.

Shaheena Din, national project manager for the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, added: “We know that building new social housing is crucial, but these exciting plans to transform dozens of existing homes in the West of Scotland and make them available for social rent will be a vital component in providing the right kind of housing for individuals and families.”

In the initial phase, HfG will be conducting a search for suitable empty properties in Glasgow and surrounding local authority areas including Renfrewshire, plus East and North Ayrshire.