Posted: Tue 15th Mar 2016

Executive Backs Start Of New Build And ‘Right To Buy’ Suspension

This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Mar 15th, 2016

Anglesey’s Executive today (Monday, March 14th) backed ambitious plans to start building new Council houses and suspend the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Members supported an ambitious new house building programme as part of the Housing Revenue Account Business Plan 2016 – 2046. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A key aspect of the new business plan has seen Anglesey – as one of 11 Welsh authorities which still retain their housing stock – buy its debt from the HM Treasury and transferring to the Public Wales Loan Board (PWLB), thereby becoming self-financing. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

This year will see more than £2m being invested in building new council housing on the Island. Some 15 units will be built with sites being considered in Pentraeth, Llanfaethlu, Valley and Holyhead. The new build programme would see Anglesey’s housing stock bolstered by at least 500 properties over the next 30 years. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Housing portfolio holder, Councillor Aled Morris Jones, said, “There are certainly exciting times ahead in terms of housing on Anglesey. These are ambitious plans for increasing the Council’s housing stock and creating more affordable housing for Anglesey residents. The new build programme will provide significant flexibility in terms of increasing housing stock, allowing increased investment in existing homes and helping to regenerate our communities.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The County Council currently owns and manages more than 3,800 properties across the Island. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Executive members also backed suspending the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme, which currently allows eligible Council or Social housing tenants in Wales to buy their home at a discount of £8,000. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Anglesey’s Housing Services will now apply to the Welsh Government for a suspension of the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme for five years in a bid help meet the growing demand for affordable rented properties on the Island. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Head of Housing Services, Shan Lloyd Williams, explained, “It is common knowledge that there is a shortage of affordable housing across Wales and the rest of the UK. Every property sold by the County Council through its ‘Right to Buy’ scheme reduces our ability to provide affordable social housing to meet local need.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A recent consultation with Council tenants saw 540 responses with 72% seeing suspending ‘Right to Buy’ as a positive step in increasing the number of affordable rented housing on Anglesey. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillor Aled Morris Jones, added, “With housing matters in Wales devolved, the Welsh Government is offering Local Authorities the opportunity to submit a voluntary application to suspend tenants’ right to buy for a period of 5 years. Applications from Carmarthenshire and Swansea Councils have already been approved.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Our aim is to increase the number of affordable rented properties on the Island and we now hope that our application will be successful. A suspension would certainly help us meet the growing demand for affordable rented housing and bolster our housing stock on Anglesey.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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