- July 19, 2019
- Posted by: Vikki Howells AM
- Category: Latest News
Cynon Valley AM Vikki Howells has welcomed news that the Welsh Government will be investing more than £10 million to bring empty homes in the South Wales Valleys back into use.
A quarter of the new funding – £2.5 million – will be invested into Rhondda Cynon Taf to bring empty homes into use, after a successful project was carried out in the county borough.
The scheme saw residents being provided with grants of up to £20,000 to renovate properties that have been empty for more than 12 months.
The announcement took place at a property in Ynysybwl owned by Jade Dee-Higgins, who had successfully accessed the Empty Properties Grant to create a modern and energy efficient family home.
Announcing the funding, Deputy Economy Minister and Chair of the Valleys Taskforce, Lee Waters AM said:-
“Through our engagement work with communities living in the Valleys we have heard concerns around the high numbers of empty homes and the detrimental impact they can often have on the wider community.
“The unsightly appearance of empty homes can cause a blight to communities and distress to residents, and can also attract crime and anti-social behaviour.
“We also know that empty homes are also often a financial burden to both to the home owners and the Council and represent a missed opportunity to provide much needed affordable housing for local people.
“For this reason I have decided to roll the successful Rhondda Cynon Taf Empty Homes Grant Scheme out across the whole Valleys Taskforce area. This will help regenerate communities, and provide more choice and suitable accommodation for residents.”
Cynon Valley AM Vikki Howells added:-
“RCT used to have the highest number of empty homes in Wales, but the Council has made remarkable progress in turning this around thanks to its Empty Properties Grant with 130 homes being renovated.
“That being the case, it is welcome news that the Welsh Labour Government is now picking up this successful scheme, which will also channel money into the local area to improve derelict properties and make homes fit for families.
“This is also good news for local economies across the Valleys, as the project has shown local businesses are the first choice to carry out refurbishment work by people accessing the grant.”
Pictured (left to right) are Vikki Howells AM, Minister of Housing and Local Government Julie James AM, Deputy Minister of Economy and Transport Julie James AM, Jade Dee-Higgins, RCT Council Leader Cllr Andrew Morgan and RCT Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Housing Cllr Robert Bevan.