Council Purchases Land to Address Housing Crisis in Gwynedd
A council has “gained ground” in the county’s housing crisis battle thanks to a land purchase.
Cyngor Gwynedd has confirmed land in Caernarfon, Llanystumdwy and Mynytho has been purchased in order to provide “affordable and quality” homes.
It comes as figures show more than 5,000 people are on the social housing register in Gwynedd with record numbers being placed in emergency accommodation.
The recent purchase projects are part of Cyngor Gwynedd’s £140 million Housing Action Plan.
The scheme aims to address a shortage of homes for Gwynedd residents within their own communities.
On the development land in Llanystumdwy and Mynytho, the council intends to construct homes under the Tŷ Gwynedd building programme.
This is further to the Tŷ Gwynedd schemes already underway in Bangor, Llanberis and Morfa Nefyn, and with the aim of building 90 of these type of houses by 2027.
If planning applications are successful, the new homes will be available either to rent on affordable rent or to buy through a shared equity scheme.
The homes would provide housing for locals who may not qualify for social housing, but who find it difficult to buy or rent on the open market.
Tŷ Gwynedd houses adhere to specific design principles meaning they should be affordable, adaptable, sustainable, energy efficient and designed to improve the wellbeing of residents.
Another land purchase was recently completed near Frondeg in Caernarfon, close to other land already owned by the council, and according to the council discussions regarding its development are “making good progress”.
Councillor Craig ab Iago, Cyngor Gwynedd housing and property cabinet member, said: “It’s well-known that there are not enough suitable homes for the people of Gwynedd in our county at the moment, and the need is still greater than the supply.
“We have more than 5,000 individuals on the social housing register and we are facing a homelessness crisis where the council is having to place a record number of people in emergency accommodation.
“We as a council are doing as much as we can to tackle this crisis, by buying private property and offering incentives to bring empty houses back into use.
“Alongside plans to bring housing back into the hands of Gwynedd residents, it’s vital that new homes are built, and buying development land is the first step in making that a reality.
“These developments will be necessary to provide the basic human right of safe and decent homes for the people of the county.”
Carys Fôn Williams, head of Cyngor Gwynedd’s Housing and Property Department, said: “As a department, we are committed to building affordable, high quality homes for the people of Gwynedd, and I am very proud to see these key elements of our Housing Action Plan progressing well.”
The housing scheme offers equity loans so that qualified applicants can buy a house on the open market.
It is funded jointly between the Welsh Government and Cyngor Gwynedd, and administered through Tai Teg.
The amount a person can borrow is linked to their financial situation and the maximum borrowed through a mortgage.
To meet the scheme’s criteria, Tai Teg can confirm the amount you can borrow, if any, following a financial assessment.
A loan can be between 10% and 50% of the value of a property and the loan placed as a charge on the property.
The council is also keen to hear from anyone interested in selling land or property.
They are asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01766 771000.
Anyone who needs an intermediate affordable home is asked check if they are eligible to apply with Tai Teg, which administers the register for this type of housing on behalf of Cyngor Gwynedd.
More information is available on the council’s website www.gwynedd.llyw.cymru/housing.
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