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Neath Port Talbot Politics South Wales

Neath Port Talbot Council to join National Empty Properties Scheme

Neath Port Talbot Council

NEATH Port Talbot Council has backed plans to reduce the number of empty properties in the borough.

The £50 million National Empty Properties Scheme is set to run for two years, and allows for the owners of empty properties to apply for funding of up £25,000.

Supported by Welsh Government, it is designed to reduce the number of long-term empty and derelict properties in Wales, currently believed to be around 22,000. And Neath Port Talbot Council bosses have now given the green-light to join it.

It is also hoped that the scheme will bring a number of properties back into use as affordable housing, with funds used to help home-owners to remove hazards from their properties to make them safe to live in, and to improve their energy efficiency.

The scheme can be used for improvements – provided applicants contribute a minimum of 15% of the costs themselves, and live in the property as their main residence for at least five years after completion.

While not all applicants will be able to receive the maximum grant, members in attendance at this months Social Services Housing and Community Safety Cabinet Board believe it could potentially bring more than 100 empty properties back into use across Neath Port Talbot .

The council will now be able to draw from a pot of £2.4 million over the next two years to use for successful applicants across the borough, over the course of the scheme.

Neath Port Talbot Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety, Cllr Alun Llewelyn, said: “The scheme will help tackle the empty homes problem facing all councils in Wales along with the associated risks of anti-social behaviour, fly tipping and other environmental impacts that attract crime and disorder activity.”