Welsh Government responds to empty properties report
The Welsh Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn, has published a response to the report into empty properties by the Equalities, Local Government and Communities Committee by agreeing to 12 of the 13 recommendations.
Some of the recommendations that the Minister agreed with include developing a national action plan for tackling empty properties, a designated officer to deal with empty properties, improved data collection on empty properties and training for local authority officers and other staff who will be dealing with empty properties.
The only recommendation that was rejected related to the possibility of ring-fencing council tax premiums that had been raised from empty properties. The Minister responded by noting that local authorities had the autonomy to determine how their resources were used to meet local needs – adding that councils had already been encouraged to use the council tax raised from empty homes to deal with housing supply issues.
What the NLA is doing
Gavin Dick, the NLA’s local authority policy officer, was closely involved in the work that went to producing the recommendations and gave evidence in person to the committee which can be found here (begins from the two hour mark). More information on the Welsh Government response to the recommendations can be accessed here.