The Welsh Government recently announced the establishment of a £10million ‘Houses Into Homes’ Loan Scheme. The purpose of the loan is to assist owners of long term empty properties to bring them back into use as housing with an interest free loan of up to £25,000 per unit of accommodation up to a maximum of £140k/150k per applicant.
Wrexham Council is getting onboard with the scheme with proposals going before the Executive Board, and are hoping to bring some of the 285 long term empty properties back into use.
By bringing an empty home back into use it can:
- Increase the supply of good quality affordable housing.
- Contribute to strong balanced housing markets and community sustainability.
- Give owners’ choice by improving sales potential or providing rental income rather than allowing properties to become wasted assets.
- Reduce the risk of vandalism, arson or squatting and the fear of crime.
- Enhance the viability and vitality of town centres by bringing empty flats above shops back into use.
A provisional figure of £435,818 has been made available for Wrexham, sourced fully from the Welsh Government. The council will however charge an ‘administration fee’ of £295-£495 depending on the size of the loan.
Finance may be used for:
– loans to return a property to use to sell.
– loans to return a property to use for rent.
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.
The council said they “support people opening up use of properties.”