Friday, 15 June 2012 08:31



DESPITE the Welsh Government announcement that its ‘Houses to Homes’ Recyclable Loans Fund was ‘open for business’ more than two months ago, landlords wishing to benefit from it are experiencing difficulty because the funding has yet to be provided to Local Authorities.

The ‘Houses to Homes’ Recyclable Loans Fund enables Local Authorities to offer interest free loans to landlords to renovate empty run-down residential properties and return them to use as homes for sale or rent.


Loans will be repaid over a fixed period, making the money available for further loans to turn more empty houses into homes.

Shadow Housing Minister, Mark Isherwood, has been contacted by a Flintshire? landlord who has tried to benefit from the fund, but has been told by his Local Authority that the funding is not yet available.?

Raising the matter with the First Minister in the Chamber this week, Mr Isherwood, said: "After you first announced the funding for Houses into Homes, a constituent who felt he might benefit from this made an inquiry of his local authority only to be told that it did not know what conditions would be applied or when the funding would be released. I have subsequently received an assurance from your Minister that eligibility criteria were distributed on 25 May, but the arrangements for the distribution of funding to local authorities have not yet been specified. When will the funding be provided to local authorities and what requirement will be placed on them to ensure that it reaches the quarters required?"

The First Minister replied: "Local Authorities already have considerable flexibility to provide assistance to owners to bring empty homes back into use. As a Government, we do not set budgets locally—it is for Local Authorities to target as much resources as they need to address their local priorities, tackling the problems that they have with empty homes. So, local authorities are able to take action now."

Mr Isherwood added: "The First Minister’s reply failed to reflect the reality. When I wrote to the Housing Minister last month, I asked when the funding and eligibility criteria for the empty homes ‘Houses to Homes’ loans scheme was provided to Local Authorities in Wales, or if it hadn’t been, when it would be provided.

"In his written reply on 8 June, the Minister stated that the documentation associated with the scheme including details about the funding and eligibility criteria was issued to Local Authorities on May 25th, but that the Welsh Government was still finalising arrangements for funding to be distributed to Local Authorities. Until the Local Authorities have received the money to loan out, they can’t do it."



Promoted by Mark Isherwood AM at National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF99 1NA

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