The Scottish Government has launched a new £4 million fund to help bring abandoned homes and empty high street spaces back to life, Housing Minister Margaret Burgess announced.
The Scottish Government’s Town Centre Empty Homes Fund will help revamp empty homes and convert derelict commercial spaces into new affordable homes.
The scheme is set to boost the building trades and create new jobs in the construction sector.
Registered social landlords and developers can apply for funding, which will be administered by the Scottish Government.
The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, which is run by the housing charity Shelter Scotland, works with councils to help bring empty private-sector homes back into use.
Since 2010, the partnership has brought over 900 homes back into use and encouraged 17 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities to appoint dedicated empty homes officers.
Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said: “Town centres are a key element of the economic, social and environmental fabric of Scotland’s towns.
“We want town centres to thrive sustainably and meet the needs of residents, businesses and visitors.
“Good quality, affordable housing is at the heart of this vision and transforming empty, disused spaces into comfortable homes makes sense.
“There are an estimated 27,000 long-term private empty homes in Scotland and it makes sense to make the best use possible of these properties when homelessness still exists.”