The Valleys Taskforce Empty Homes Grant scheme, which Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council has led on through the Housing Strategy & Investment Service, has now successfully concluded.
Local Authorities in the Valleys Taskforce Area also include Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Carmarthen, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot, Swansea and Torfaen.
In summer 2019, the Valleys Taskforce committed £10million to fund bringing Empty Homes back into use. RCT Council was appointed as the lead authority on behalf of the Valleys Taskforce area due to the expertise held following on from the Council’s own previous, successful Empty Homes Grant initiative and model. Due to the success of the programme after Phase 1, a further £2million was committed to the scheme.
The Valleys Taskforce Empty Homes Grant Scheme was introduced to bring empty homes back in to use by providing home-owners with grants of up to a maximum of £20,000, plus a possible further £5,000 for renewable energy measures during Phase 2, to transform properties into safe, secure and liveable homes.
The response and uptake of the grant has been overwhelmingly positive, with 680 applications being processed and £10.3million of grant funding being committed across all of the Valleys Local Authorities.
Of this figure, 358 applications have been received for homeowners in Rhondda Cynon Taf, which is 53% of the overall number of applications, with a commitment of £5.06m, or 49% of grant funding across RCT.
The benefits of the grant are wide-reaching, from helping first time buyers get on the property ladder, removing eyesores in local communities, providing affordable housing opportunities to residents, and generating work for numerous local contractors. Despite the challenges that have been faced as a result of the Coronavirus national emergency, great progress and outcomes have been achieved.
Building on the success of the above, the Council is committed to continuing with its own Empty Homes Grant scheme, offering financial support to residents across the County Borough to continue to bring empty homes back in to use.
The RCT Empty Homes Grant will open and accept applications from April 1, 2021. If you require further information, please e-mail EmptyHomesGrant@rctcbc.gov.uk.
Posted on 24/03/2021