The number of long-term empty homes in Scotland has risen 5.5% in a year, new figures suggest.
National Records of Scotland statistics show 39,300 homes were empty for six months or more in 2018, an increase of 2,000 on 2017.
— NatRecordsScot (@NatRecordsScot) June 18, 2019
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
Scottish islands have the highest proportions of long-term empty homes, at 4.7% in the Shetland Islands and 3.4% in the Western Isles compared to 1.5% across mainland Scotland.
Overall, the statistics show 96% of homes in Scotland are occupied, 1% are second homes and 3% are empty.
The report states:
There were 2.62 million dwellings in Scotland in 2018…
Remote rural areas had the highest percentage of dwellings that were vacant or second homes.
The number of households across Scotland has continued to rise, hitting 2.48 million in 2018, an increase of around 139,000 (6%) in a decade.
Officials credit the growth to an increasing population and rising number of homes combined with a drop in the average number of people per household.
Homes with only one resident have been the most common type since 2010 and now account for more than a third of households, with an estimated 885,000 people living alone in 2017, which researchers said could be partly explained by Scotland’s ageing population.
“People are crying out for affordable housing”
Andy Wightman, housing spokesman for the Scottish Greens, said:
People are crying out for affordable housing, yet we have a total of over 100,000 empty and under-used second homes across Scotland.
It’s incredulous that the proportion of empty homes is rising and astonishing that not all councils have empty homes officers to bring properties into use.
He repeated calls for the Scottish government to work with local authorities to tackle the issue, saying it is “clearly exacerbating Scotland’s housing crisis”.Support us and go ad-free
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.