CLWYD SOUTH AM KEN SKATES has praised a ground-breaking new scheme to bring Empty Homes in Wrexham back into use.
Earlier this year the Welsh Government announced the launch of a £10million ‘Houses Into Homes’ Loan Scheme to assist owners of long term empty properties to bring them back into use through an interest free loan of up to £25,000 per unit of accommodation.
The launch of the scheme by the Welsh Government has provided access to funding of £2.65million across North Wales with £435,818 being made available for use within Wrexham.
There are currently 285 long term empty properties across the County Borough. Flintshire County Council is the regional co-ordinator for the Scheme in North Wales, and the six North Wales Authorities have agreed to collaborate in order to deliver the scheme.
Clwyd South AM Ken Skates said:
“There are 20,000 empty properties across Wales and if we want to tackle our housing shortage then this problem will have to be tackled. This fund is designed to help bring long-term properties back into use, a much cheaper alternative than building new homes.
“Wrexham already has an excellent record in tackling empty homes, the local authority does a very good job in keeping numbers low. However we still have 285 homes in Wrexham that have been left empty for more than six months and which could be put to better use.
“There is over two and a half million pounds to help councils across North Wales work together to bring empty homes back into use. The great thing about this scheme is that when the money has been paid back it is then recycled to help bring more empty homes back into use.
“I regularly get told that when homes in Wrexham are left unoccupied for a long period of time, problems soon occur such as anti-social behaviour, crime and vandalism. Left to rot, a few empty homes in a street can blight the neighbourhood as areas become run-down with problems soon escalating.
“This fund will help tackle that and give more support to the home maintenance and construction sectors here in North East Wales at a much needed time.”
Eligible properties must be empty for 6 months or more and the owners must commit to the properties being let or sold upon completion of the work. Owners who wish to occupy the property themselves will not be eligible.
Any loans repaid will be recycled and used to assist other owners of empty homes within the County Borough.