Greater than 500 functions have been obtained to carry empty houses again in to make use of by Welsh Authorities’s £10 million Valleys Taskforce Empty Houses Grant Scheme, Deputy Minister for Financial system and Transport Lee Waters has introduced.
Section One of many initiative was launched a yr in the past by the Deputy Minister, and Chair of the Valleys Taskforce, after a profitable roll-out throughout Rhondda Cynon Taf.
The scheme is open to dwelling house owners throughout the prolonged Valleys Taskforce, which runs from Carmarthenshire in West Wales to Torfaen in East Wales. Its boundaries had been additionally prolonged final yr to incorporate the Gwendraeth and Amman Valleys.
Section Two of the scheme, launched in July 2020, will guarantee even higher numbers of native companies are used to carry empty houses again to life, and incentivise candidates to make use of extra power environment friendly measures inside their renovations. Not solely will this assist to scale back carbon emissions it’s going to additionally end in decrease power payments for future residents.
Whereas the scheme will see some candidates occurring to dwell of their refurbished properties, different properties will likely be introduced in to make use of for social housing by Registered Social Landlords, serving to to extend the provision of inexpensive housing.
Deputy Minister for Financial system and Transport Lee Waters stated: “A yr in the past, I introduced that following the success of a Rhondda Cynon Taf scheme, we had been opening a £10 million Welsh Authorities Empty Houses Grant scheme throughout the entire of the Valleys Taskforce areas.
“It’s heartening to see that scheme progressing properly, with over 500 functions already obtained and I hope many extra to come back. After all this yr has been difficult for everybody however regardless of the pandemic inflicting a delay on the scheme for a lot of months, and the floods that impacted many Valleys areas, now we have seen nice progress. Native authorities have labored onerous to roll out this scheme of their areas and supply the mandatory match funding to make this success and I wish to placed on report my thanks for his or her onerous work.
“With a strengthened standards, which we developed collaboratively with native authorities and different stakeholders, this scheme has not solely introduced empty properties again in to make use of however has additionally supported the foundations of our native economies by offering work for small native companies within the building sector. The retrofitting aspect additionally means it’s supporting our decarbonisation agenda whereas additionally decreasing power payments for future.
“I stay up for seeing the total outcomes of this Valleys Taskforce scheme and can work carefully with the Minister for Housing and Native Authorities to make use of our studying to affect and develop a future empty houses schemes for the entire of Wales.”
Mike Roberts, from Carmarthenshire, utilized to Section One of many scheme. He stated: “My home had been empty for greater than two years and desperately wanted to be restored to an honest commonplace.
“The Empty Houses Grant Scheme was an awesome assist and allowed me to hold out important works unexpectedly.
“There was a proper course of and a variety of types to finish however my grant was permitted and the work has been achieved. I’m delighted.”
To be eligible for the Valleys Taskforce Empty Houses Scheme, houses must have been empty for at the least 6 months. Candidates to the scheme are additionally restricted to at least one grant per particular person and in instances the place restore work exceeds £20,000, can have the choice to use for the Welsh Authorities’s Homes in to Houses scheme.