Julie James MS, Minister for Climate Change
Today I am happy to announce that I have allocated £50million over the next 2 years to bring more empty properties across Wales back into use through a national empty homes grant scheme.
The latest statistics for 2023/24 which were released on the 19th January show that there are 22,457 long-term empty properties in Wales. Long term empty properties are a wasted housing resource and can become a blight on our communities.
I am implementing this grant as an additional incentive to further reduce the number of empty properties and therefore increase housing supply.
The new scheme has been developed with the local authorities and builds on the success of our existing property loans and the previous Valleys Taskforce Empty Homes Grant. A grant of up to £25,000 will be available for home owners or prospective home owners to remove significant hazards from their properties to make them safe to live in and to improve their energy efficiency. In order to qualify for the grant, the property must have been registered as empty with the local authority for a minimum of 12 months prior to commencement of the works. Once the works have been completed, the successful applicant must then live in that property as their main and only residence for a minimum of 5 years.
Aside from owner occupiers, Registered Social Landlords, local authorities and community housing groups will also be able to access the funding for empty properties they are acquiring to bring back into use as affordable housing. This is therefore an additional measure we are taking to take forward the commitment in the Welsh Government’s Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru to bring a higher proportion of existing homes, and especially empty homes, into common ownership at local level.
The scheme will be administered by Rhondda Cynon Taff Council on our behalf. A list of the participating local authorities can be found on our webpage and more local authorities will be added once they sign up to the scheme.
Each participating local authority will have a notional allocation each year and will be responsible for undertaking the surveys of the properties to identify and recommend the qualifying works for grant funding.