More than 500 applications have been received to bring empty homes back in to use through Welsh Government’s £10 million Valleys Taskforce Empty Homes Grant Scheme, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters has announced.
Phase One of the initiative was launched a year ago by the Deputy Minister, and Chair of the Valleys Taskforce, after a successful roll-out across Rhondda Cynon Taf.
The scheme is open to home owners across the extended Valleys Taskforce, which runs from Carmarthenshire in West Wales to Torfaen in East Wales. Its boundaries were also extended last year to include the Gwendraeth and Amman Valleys.
Phase Two of the scheme, launched in July 2020, will ensure even greater numbers of local businesses are used to bring empty homes back to life, and incentivise applicants to use more energy efficient measures within their renovations. Not only will this help to reduce carbon emissions it will also result in lower energy bills for future residents.
While the scheme will see some applicants going on to live in their refurbished properties, other properties will be brought in to use for social housing by Registered Social Landlords, helping to increase the supply of affordable housing.
Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters said: “A year ago, I announced that following the success of a Rhondda Cynon Taf scheme, we were opening a £10 million Welsh Government Empty Homes Grant scheme across the whole of the Valleys Taskforce areas.
“It is heartening to see that scheme progressing well, with over 500 applications already received and I hope many more to come. Of course this year has been challenging for everyone but despite the pandemic causing a delay on the scheme for many months, and the floods that impacted many Valleys areas, we have seen great progress. Local authorities have worked hard to roll out this scheme in their areas and provide the necessary match funding to make this success and I would like to put on record my thanks for their hard work.
“With a strengthened criteria, which we developed collaboratively with local authorities and other stakeholders, this scheme has not only brought empty properties back in to use but has also supported the foundations of our local economies by providing work for small local businesses in the construction sector. The retrofitting element also means it is supporting our decarbonisation agenda while also reducing energy bills for future.
“I look forward to seeing the full results of this Valleys Taskforce scheme and will work closely with the Minister for Housing and Local Government to use our learning to influence and develop a future empty homes schemes for the whole of Wales.”
Mike Roberts, from Carmarthenshire, applied to Phase One of the scheme. He said: “My house had been empty for more than two years and desperately needed to be restored to a decent standard.
“The Empty Homes Grant Scheme was a great help and allowed me to carry out essential works all at once.
“There was a formal process and a range of forms to complete but my grant was approved and the work has been done. I am delighted.”
To be eligible for the Valleys Taskforce Empty Homes Scheme, homes need to have been empty for at least 6 months. Applicants to the scheme are also restricted to one grant per person and in cases where repair work exceeds £20,000, will have the option to apply for the Welsh Government’s Houses in to Homes scheme.
To apply, visit: https://gov.wales/valleys-taskforce-empty-homes
Swansea nurses meet King Charles during royal appointment
Llanelli politicians back alternative steel proposals as unions warn Tata’s current plans would mean closure of Trostre plant
Thieves target local cemeteries and disrupt water supplies
Big day at LC for city’s latest young sports ambassadors
Sea defence project reaches key milestone – for safety and sea life
Timings of goals the difference for Duff as Swans beaten at Leeds
Body found in search for missing Nantgaredig woman
Morriston Hospital under ‘exceptional pressures’ as over 80 emergency patients wait for beds
Revamped H Samuel shop shines bright in Swansea’s Quadrant Shopping Centre
Para-athlete Harrison Walsh shares his inspirational journey, revealing triumph over trauma
Popular Swansea pub set for grand re-opening after £279,000 makeover
Refurbished Llansamlet Go Outdoors store gets ready to reward shoppers at opening event
New light being shone on popular seafront promenade
Funding boost for Mumbles women’s fashion shop
Work completed on River Tawe pontoon
Aldi Fforestfach celebrates grand opening with help from Paralympian
Specsavers to invest more than £400,000 in new Mumbles store
Castle Square transformation takes new step
Photo treasure trove charts key decades in Swansea’s rich history
Free buses returning to Swansea for the festive period
Carmarthen2 days ago
Council agrees sale of sprawling former asylum in Carmarthen
Bridgend3 days ago
Independent pharmacy chain pick up former Lloyds pharmacy branches
Llanelli6 days ago
Scarlets and Ospreys announce team for West Wales Derby
South Wales Police2 days ago
Three arrests after Mount Pleasant home attacked with ‘weapons’
Dyfed Powys Police6 days ago
Trimsaran ‘deluded and ill-tempered’ driver who ‘used car as a weapon’ is jailed
Money1 day ago
Morriston receives banking hub following community request
Swansea6 days ago
‘My Wife fell in love with a Life Size Cardboard Cut-out of Ronan Keating’: Quirky new play comes to Swansea
Business3 days ago
Swansea-based housing association enters into merger discussions with Rhondda organisation