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Thursday, May 9, 2013

£30M boost for affordable housing welcomed

Housing Minister, Carl Sargeant has welcomed a £30m boost to funding for affordable housing in Wales.
The £30m, which was announced by the Finance Minister in Plenary, will be split into £20m to respond to the housing demands of families and individuals adversely affected by UK Government changes in Housing Benefit, and £10m to deliver additional affordable homes by bringing more long-term empty properties back into use.
The Minister said: “This funding boost is very welcome and very timely. Since the UK Government changed the welfare benefit rules, we have seen increased demand for smaller, one and two bedroom properties. We are therefore allocating an additional £20m to provide Social Housing Grants that will mitigate this need and help those individuals and families that have been adversely affected. 
“I’m also pleased that we have resources to expand our successful Houses into Homes pilot scheme, which is bringing empty homes back into use.
“The Welsh Government’s target is to bring 5,000 empty properties into use during this Assembly term and the money we have invested already will bring around 450 units of accommodation back into use.
“This additional £10m will bring around 500 more empty properties back into use. And, when the loans are repaid the money will be used again as new loans so that we maximise the number of empty properties that are returned to use. 
“As well as increasing the supply of housing in Wales, this funding will bring wider socio-economic benefits by providing employment for local builders and restoring confidence in previously run-down communities.
“In these difficult economic times it is essential that we make the most of capital investment, not only for better housing outcomes, but for the continued support of our construction industry and the growth of our economy.”

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