A HOUSING ASSOCIATION has been criticised for the time taken to fill six affordable homes in Old Colwyn despite Conwy county being in the middle of a housing crisis.
Residents living near the housing association homes on Abergele Road complained construction was completed last year but say the homes have remained empty. The site opposite the former Hotel 70 Degrees was once used for a portacabin as a tourist information centre and before that was a small quarry.
Locals say Brenig Homes completed the work over 12 months ago, and residents wrote to local councillors urging for the empty homes to be filled.
Wales and West Housing said there had been “unforeseen delays” but that the first residents have now moved into their new homes, and all six properties are set to be fully occupied by the end of November
Last year figures revealed Conwy had the fourth highest number of people living in temporary accommodation in Wales – with over 500 homeless households in recent years.
But a dispute about who might occupy the homes is believed to have delayed the new homes being filled.
A resident who contacted the Local Democracy Reporting Service said families waiting for a home must be disappointed and frustrated.
Old Colwyn councillor Cheryl Carlisle said: “The problem is these houses have been sitting idle for a very long time. These homes were specifically for people and young families from Old Colwyn to get on the housing ladder to get homes of their own. The homes were designed and commissioned with that in mind.
“As local councillors, we have no idea of the current situation. We just know the Old Colwyn families on the housing list haven’t been contacted. But they’ve been sitting there empty because of a dispute. We are not sure why.
“It is completely unfair to local Old Colwyn families if these homes are filled by people from other areas when they’ve been waiting so long for these promised houses to be completed.”
A spokesperson for Wales and West Housing said: “It is a challenging time for house building in Wales, and this led to unforeseen delays in completing our new development at Penmaenhead in Old Colwyn.
“The first residents have now moved into their new homes, and all six properties are set to be fully occupied by the end of November, providing much-needed affordable homes for rent for the local community.”