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Gwynedd Council considering buying houses to rent to local people

GWYNEDD Council’s Cabinet will consider a report that will seek approval to borrow £15.4 million to buy around 100 houses to let for affordable rent.

The report which will be discussed by the Council Cabinet on 16 February will outline the plan to buy 100 houses from the market over the next six years to rent at an affordable price to local people. It follows the adoption of an ambitious Housing Action Plan in December, which includes over 30 projects aimed at tackling the challenges across the housing sector in Gwynedd.

The ambitious plan includes providing more accommodation for the homeless, building more social housing to let to local residents and bringing empty homes back into use.

Councillor Craig ab Iago, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Property, said:

“I often emphasise that my top priority is to ensure that we as a Council do everything we can to offer homes to the people of Gwynedd within our communities. This scheme, which is to buy affordable rented housing for local people, will help around 100 individuals or families to live locally.

“I am very excited about this next phase when we will implement the ambitious plans in our Housing Action Plan, with many of those already underway. Our aim is to increase the supply of housing for our people to give them a fair chance to live in their communities – something that would otherwise be out of their reach.

“The scheme will involve a significant investment, and the business case we are proposing shows that the investment will be repaid over a number of years. It will be a major step towards our goal of ensuring that the people of Gwynedd have access to a suitable, quality, affordable home that enhances their quality of life.”

There are currently approximately 2,700 people on the housing waiting list in Gwynedd, and the Council has adopted a Housing Action Plan to assist the people of the county to access suitable and affordable housing locally.

Most of the funding sources for the £77 million housing action plan have been identified and approved by the Council’s Cabinet in December, including the council tax premium on second homes and various grants. It was noted at the time that the funding of this specific project would be the subject of a further report and business case to consider borrowing to implement the project, namely to buy former social and private housing for affordable rent, to local people.

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