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Grant Scheme To Help First-Time Buyers Wins Prestigious Award

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A grant scheme to help first-time buyers modernise empty homes in Anglesey and Gwynedd has won a prestigious housing award.

The First Time Buyers Empty Homes Grant scheme won the Chartered Institute of Housing's 2021 award for Supporting Future Generations in Wales.

The CIH Cymru award was recently presented to the Empty Homes Teams of the neighbouring local authorities.

Anglesey and Gwynedd have been working together to deliver the £2.5M scheme since 2018. They have helped 155 first-time buyers by utilising funding from the Second Homes Council Tax Premium and Welsh Government regeneration funds.

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Several of Wales' coastal and rural communities have seen record house price increases, with many properties purchased as second homes and/or holiday lets, or by people who have decided to relocate from more urban parts of the UK to retire or work from home.

Anglesey's Housing portfolio holder for Housing, Cllr. Alun Mummery, said: "Following the dramatic house price increases seen in 2020 in Ynys Mon and Gwynedd, the need to support first-time-buyers has never been greater. Recognising the combined need to support first-time-buyers and bring long-term empty houses back into use as first homes, the two local authorities have established and delivered an innovative support scheme to assist local first-time-buyers to meet the costs of refurbishing newly purchased empty homes for use as their new home."

Both counties have established slightly different schemes, but have been working in partnership with each other and Welsh Government to secure funding, add value, monitor progress, capture outputs, address common issues and share good practice.

The scheme has also been funded by the Welsh Government's Transforming Towns Programme. News of the award was welcomed by the Welsh Government.

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