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Funding confirmed for rural housing enablers in North Wales

Welsh Government has confirmed funding for a key housing service for rural communities in North Wales.

Rural housing enablers have played a crucial role in recent years of providing much-needed support and housing opportunities across the region. The enablers work closely with communities to understand issues they face, such as affordability and availability, as well as suggest solutions.

Housing association Grŵp Cynefin, which administers the project on behalf of eight other partners, believes the funding news has come at a vital time.

Catrin Roberts, affordable homes manager at Grŵp Cynefin, said:

‘We are aware of concerns and hurdles affecting suitable housing needs in North Wales. The rural housing enablers are here to help, and they have a strong history of playing an important role in bringing housing solutions to rural communities.’

The enablers have worked in partnership with Isle of Anglesey County Council and Grŵp Cynefin to develop 33 new homes in Llanddeusant (pictured below), Cemaes and Amlwch in the past three years. In each case, the developments were built to satisfy the local housing need that had been identified through the work of the enablers.

She went on:

‘It’s a critical period. The coronavirus pandemic is likely to have long-lasting effects on our communities, in terms of the economic impact on families and individuals, and the demand for housing in rural areas and the type of homes people wish to live in.

‘Rural housing enablers have a key role to play in the post Covid-19 rural economy, where people are able to work from home without having to travel to town or city centres. This could be an opportunity to create jobs in rural areas, support local supply chains, and give generations of families the opportunity of continuing to live in their own rural communities.

‘I would urge any communities to contact their rural housing enabler to discuss their requirements and to find out for information.’

Grŵp Cynefin leads the scheme and the other partners are The Snowdonia National Park Authority, Cartrefi Conwy, Adra, Clwyd Alyn, North Wales Housing Association, the Isle of Anglesey County Council, Gwynedd Council, and Conwy County Borough Council.

Catrin Roberts added:

‘It’s fantastic to receive the funding and being awarded it in the current climate illustrates how important rural housing enablers are.

‘We have found the service is especially crucial to identify people that want to stay and live in their own localities. We have noticed individuals and families have started to move away to get on the property ladder, which then has a detrimental knock-on effect on the local economy. We want to offer prospective tenants or buyers the option to stay, live and work in their own community.’

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