What we are doing to improve the availability of affordable homes for local people in the Dwyfor area of Gwynedd.
Everyone should be able to afford to live in their local area, whether that is buying or renting a home.
Many communities in Wales have large numbers of:
- second homes
- holiday lets
- empty homes
This is causing issues about housing affordability. It is also affecting the sustainability of the Welsh language in these communities.
Second homes: Developing new policies in Wales
In March 2021, we published a report Second homes: Developing new policies in Wales. The report studied the impact of second homes in communities across Wales.
The report's author, Dr Simon Brooks made 12 recommendations, which included the setting up of a pilot area, to trial new approaches.
Second homes pilot area
The area of Dwyfor in Gwynedd was selected as the pilot area based on:
- its geographic size
- the concentration of second homes in communities in the area
- issues faced around the Welsh language
We are working in partnership with Cyngor Gwynedd, Grwp Cynefin and the Eryri National Park in the Dwyfor Pilot area.
The pilot will run for at least two years and will provide essential learning for other parts of Wales.
Since last year, the Welsh Government has taken broad and radical steps to find balanced solutions to managing the large number of second homes and short-term holiday lets in some of our communities.
The Welsh Government has:
- made changes to local taxation on second homes and short-term holiday lets
- made changes to the planning framework
- published a Welsh Language Communities Housing Plan
- launched a £50m empty homes grant to renovate empty properties; we also provided Cyngor Gwynedd with £3m, at least £1m earmarked for Dwyfor, to buy long-term empty properties and launched the First Time Buyers Empty Homes Grant scheme in Anglesey and Gwynedd
- developed potential changes to Land Transaction Tax
- appointed two full-time staff, both based in the Dwyfor area, to administer the pilot and engage with local people
- made up to £8.5 million to support Homebuy in the pilot
- introduced proposals for a statutory licensing scheme for holiday lets
- made £11 million available for communities in four counties with the highest levels of Welsh-speakers as part of the Arfor 2 programme designed to strengthen the economic resilience of Welsh language strongholds
Leasing Scheme Wales
15 local authorities, including Gwynedd, have signed up to this Welsh Government backed leasing scheme which offers incentives for property owners who lease their properties to the local authority.
The scheme loan provides:
- 75% of the cost of a building plot;
- 100% of the cost to build your home.
Homebuy helps people who could not otherwise afford to buy a property by providing an equity loan. The scheme is of particular benefit in more rural communities where there may be few opportunities to buy a home.
The Welsh Government has made £8.5m available in the pilot area over three years. We are working closely with:
- Grwp Cynefin, who operate the scheme in North Wales, and;
- Cyngor Gwynedd;
Together, we have made Homebuy more responsive to needs in the pilot area and have already seen a number of completions.