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Another £15m for Land for Housing scheme

Welsh Government has allocated a further £14.67 million in loans to social landlords to help them buy land to build more homes across Wales.

The money comes from the Land for Housing scheme, which allows housing associations to borrow money to buy land to build on. The money is recycled as loans are repaid.

Some 17 schemes will be supported in this second round of funding for 2018-19, bringing the total invested this financial year to more than £32 million, including £4.2 million which has been repaid and reinvested. Since the start of the scheme in 2015, £52 million has been invested, resulting in delivery of more than 4,100 homes across Wales, 84 per cent of them affordable homes.

Housing and local government ministerJulie James made the announcement while visiting a Taff Housing Association development at the former FA Jones DIY store on Penarth Road in Cardiff which is due to be completed in July.

This will provide 19 one and two bedroom flats, including two that are wheelchair accessible and a retail unit. Construction commenced in May 2017 and is due to hand over in July 2019.

The project received a Land for Housing loan of £504,000 to enable Taff to purchase the site in May 2017. That loan has now been repaid and recycled into the funding for this financial year.

Julie James said:

‘We have committed to creating 20,000 affordable homes during the course of this government, and the Land for Housing Scheme is just one of ways we are investing in achieving this.

‘As this is a loan scheme, when the money is repaid, it’s reinvested in new projects and therefore delivers far more value than the £52 million we have invested to date. It is an excellent example of how we are working with registered social landlords to build homes and improve the lives of people in Wales.’

Elaine Ballard, chief executive of Taff Housing Association said:

‘This funding has helped us bring back to life an important site on Penarth Road, which is a gateway to Cardiff. There is always demand in these heartland areas, and future tenants will benefit from the strong community networks Taff is part of. In turn, these new residents will have the opportunity to get involved and strengthen this diverse and vibrant neighbourhood.’

The 17 approved schemes are in Cardiff, Ceredigion, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Swansea and Wrexham.

Aaron Hill, Public Affairs Manager at Community Housing Cymru said:

‘This scheme further demonstrates Welsh Government’s ongoing support of social housing, and we welcome their continued investment into tackling the housing crisis in Wales.

‘Access to affordable land is essential to allow us to deliver our ambition to build 75,000 additional homes by 2036, yet land is the biggest variable cost for those developing affordable homes. The recyclable nature of this loan means that the investment will continue to make an impact time and again.’

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