Second home premiums to be used to help Anglesey residents find housing
A scheme to help Anglesey residents find housing through the use of funding from second home council tax premiums has been agreed.
Members of Anglesey County Council’s executive accepted two recommendations to improve the availability of housing on the island during their meeting on Tuesday (May 30).
Details were presented by portfolio holder Cllr Gary Pritchard and the head of the housing service Ned Michael.
One of the agreed recommendations was to increase the maximum grant for bringing back empty properties into use from £20,000 – £25,000.
The move was prompted by the council’s recognition of an increase in the cost of labour and goods.
The island’s second homes premium currently stands at 75 percent for empty homes and 100 percent for second homes.
A report by officers stated that just over £1.5m worth of council tax premium money was available for allocation.
The meeting heard how since 2017 the council has adopted a policy aimed at supporting local people.
It includes converting empty properties into homes, and providing equity loans for first time buyers.
A sum of £170,000 was allocated at the start of the scheme and increased to £696,000 by 2022/23.
The report said the scheme has been “successful,” with this year’s budget committed to grants which have either been approved or are in the process of doing so.
In October 2022, the council launched the Anglesey Homebuyer Scheme to help buyers purchase homes on the open market through shared equity loans.
The report noted the scheme currently has eight active applications, with one assessment approved and another application underway.
However, four were withdrawn, in two cases due to people being unable to secure a deposit.
The report said the scheme has been “slow to come to fruition” due to the economic climate last year, and “difficulties” for applicants accessing mortgages.
But the council said it was now seeing “things starting to move” and hoped the first purchases “will complete very soon.”
Cllr Pritchard told the meeting: “We wanted to make sure that everyone has somewhere to call home.
“Schemes include bringing back empty homes, buying up former council houses and establishing shared equity schemes helped people to get a foot on the housing ladder.
“We are investing the money from those who can afford more than one house, to help others who can’t afford a home to get a foot on the housing ladder.”
The executive also agreed to delay part of the recommendation – a financial allocation to the planning service worth £300,000 – until more information could be established.
By Dale Spridgeon – Local Democracy Reporter
Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email firstname.lastname@example.org