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High proportion of long-term empty homes

SHETLAND has the highest proportion of long-term vacant homes in Scotland, according to new estimated figures.

Data released by the Scottish Government showed that 4.7 per cent of dwellings in the isles in 2018 were empty for six months or more.

The Scottish average was 1.5 per cent, with the Western Isles and Orkney having the second and third highest proportion after Shetland.

The figures also showed that Shetland had the second highest proportion of vacant homes at 6.9 per cent, or 772.

There were 11,270 domestic properties in total in Shetland in 2018 – an increase of 90 on the previous year.

The Scottish Greens’ housing spokesperson Andy Wightman said it was “incredulous that the proportion of empty homes is rising” across Scotland.

“The Scottish Government has long overlooked the issue of unoccupied homes but we simply cannot ignore the fact that the number of empty homes has increased by over a fifth in the last decade,” he added.

“Connected to that, it’s clear that there’s uneven spread throughout Scotland with remote rural areas having the highest percentage of dwellings that are either empty or second homes.

“As such, we are again calling on the Scottish Government to work with local authorities to tackle this issue which is so clearly exacerbating Scotland’s housing crisis.”

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021