Councillors at today’s (24 January) Housing and Economy Committee backed a Green amendment to that effect.
City Centre Green councillor Claire Miller said:
“With over 1,500 private homes empty for longer than a year, Edinburgh has a major opportunity to boost housing supply and ease pressure on scarce land by helping get these properties back into use.
“The properties range from those which just need an extra nudge to be sold or rented out, right through to the seriously stuck houses which are a blight on neighbourhoods and need significant action.
“All of the evidence from other councils across Scotland is that a dedicated empty homes officer working one to one with owners is what makes the difference. And the added bonus is that the double council tax charge on long term empties can pay for that post and more. It’s a win-win.
“So I am pleased that Edinburgh is now going to be taking that step.”