Vacant homes could ease housing shortage

A plea to homeowners to utilise empty properties in a bid to ease the housing shortage was issued at today’s (Tuesday) SIC development committee meeting.

Director of development services Neil Grant highlighted the progress to build 320 homes over the next five years, saying it is currently ongoing at sites across Shetland “despite labour labour shortages and material inflation”.

The number of current vacant privately-owned homes was raised by Shetland Central councillor Moraig Lyall, who said: “We are aware of houses in our areas that are either under or completely un-utilised and I wondered if the wider community is aware.”

She added that there should be a campaign to raise awareness so homeowners with vacant buildings make them “ready for rent or to buy”.

Mr Grant agreed, stating: “One thing that struck me is that we have a very big percentage of vacant private sector housing. Does our community understand the challenge we have, and it is something we really need to give good attention to.”

A full report will be published in this week’s Shetland Times, out Friday.


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