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Empty homes target smashed

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

Programme for Government commitment delivered with over a year to go.
Thursday 29 October 2015
Empty homes target smashed

Over 7,500 vacant properties have been saved from falling into disrepair and transformed into homes for Welsh families during the past four years.

The Welsh Government has gone above and beyond its ambitious 5,000 target, with over a year to go. In 2014/15, 3,089 empty properties were brought back into use thanks to the innovative Houses into Homes scheme, bringing the total to an impressive 7,560.

During its first three years, the initial investment of £20 million has enabled local authorities to provide 360 interest-free loans to owners of properties which have been empty for more than 6 months, to bring the properties back into use for sale or rent.

As well as increasing housing supply, bringing properties back into use removes unsightly empty buildings, regenerating communities and reducing incidents of vandalism and anti-social behaviour in properties which have fallen into a state of disrepair.

The Minister with responsibility for housing and regeneration, Lesley Griffiths, said:

"Transforming 7,500 vacant properties into homes for families in Wales is a wonderful achievement. Houses into Homes has galvanised local and the result is more homes for more people.

"I am delighted we have not only delivered, but exceeded our Programme for Government commitment, with more than a year to go. Vacant properties falling into disrepair are a blight on our communities which, not only spoil the appearance of our towns and cities, but are also associated with increased incidences of vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

"These latest figures are a clear marker of our continued commitment to meeting housing need. In doing so, we are boosting employment in the construction industry, helping local businesses, and supporting jobs across the whole of Wales."

Houses into Homes is delivered by local authorities and is an example of effective local, regional and national collaboration, with all 22 councils working together to share resources and expertise.

The Minister added:

"I am very grateful to local authorities for the drive and determination they have shown to develop high quality and affordable housing within their communities. In addition to the £20 million provided to local authorities, I have made an extra £10 million available to maintain the momentum achieved so far."

Cllr Dyfed Edwards, WLGA Housing Spokesperson said:

"Councils across Wales have demonstrated their effectiveness in tackling empty properties, and have made a real difference. Bringing empty properties back into use as homes not only brings a much-needed increase in the supply of housing in many communities, but also removes the problems, such as vandalism and anti-social behaviour, that can often be associated with unoccupied buildings. The dramatic increase in the number of additional homes being provided in this way is a real success story.

"The funding made available by Welsh Government for loans has been a valuable addition to support the basket of direct actions being taken by local authorities to tackle the issue of empty properties. This work also directly benefits other strategic objectives such as generating employment and supporting regeneration initiatives."

 

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Housing and Regeneration 29 October 2015 Programme for Government - Homes Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales
 
 

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