Question from: County Councillor Matthew Dorrance Subject: Housing
There are a number of empty properties in Brecon that could provide homes for people in need of housing.
What is the Cabinet doing to bring these homes back into use?
Response by the Portfolio Holder:
Cabinet is fully committed to the redevelopment of empty homes, not only in Brecon but throughout the county. Accordingly, Powys takes full advantage of Welsh Government funded interest free finance to deliver Houses into Homes and Town Centre Loans locally, specifically targeted to address the issue of empty homes. Cabinet also has a long history of providing funding for Powys Landlord Loans, the precursor of the Welsh Government Houses into Homes scheme, designed to address the issue of empty property blight. In addition, Cabinet has adopted a Council Tax Empty Property Premium (in line with Welsh Government guidance) where owners of long term empty homes are no longer able to claim an empty property discount but are now charged a higher rate of Council Tax. This encourages action by empty property owners and was designed to bring empty homes back into use.
Please note, Town Centre Loans may be specifically used in Brecon to target both empty residential and commercial unity. The full array of interest free loan options are detailed on the attached Renewal & Property Improvement Loans leaflet. In all cases, funding priority is given to assist the redevelopment of empty homes, wherever they may be located, throughout the county.