Julie James, the Climate Change Minister has given an update on the development of a second home pilot scheme being held in Dwyfor.
The pilot scheme was announced in November 2021, with the aim of trying to tackle the high number of second homes in certain parts of Wales. The scheme was created following the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.
James has dubbed wider government interventions in the field a ‘radical package of measures’ including allowing local authorities to impose higher tax rates on second homes, changes to the number of days a building has to be let out for it to qualify as a holiday let and also changes to both the planning framework and house building plans.
James said that the Welsh Government were working closely with Cyngor Gwynedd, local housing associations, Eryri national Park and a variety of local communities in order to assess and evaluate the work under way.
James outline some of the practical steps the Welsh Government have undertaken in order to improve access to the housing market for local people, such as:
- Trialing changes to the Homebuy scheme by advertising more widely.
- Look at the way the Self-Build Wales Scheme could help people build affordable homes in their own communities and also ensure greater use of empty homes and buildings.
- Organising and facilitating various community workshops.
James said: ‘Across all of this work, the pilot is a joint endeavour and opportunity. There are now multi-partner working groups at strategic and operational levels. A data group and shared online resource is considering the effects these changes are having on the housing stock and its affordability in the area. This will help to underpin the evaluation of the pilot.’
You can read the statement in full here. There will be a further statement regarding the pilot scheme in 6 months.