Consultation display

Inquiry into empty properties

Response to the consultation

Evidence submitted in response to this Consultation

Purpose of the consultation

The terms of reference for the inquiry were to consider:

  • The extent to which empty properties impact on the supply of affordable housing in Wales;
  • The impact of empty properties on communities in Wales and challenges faced by local authorities dealing with the problem;
  • The extent to which local authorities have the legislative powers they need to deal with empty properties;
  • Examples of best practice in turning empty properties into affordable, energy efficient homes;
  • The extent to which the changes introduced by the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 giving local authorities discretion to charge council tax premiums on empty homes have been utilised, and the effectiveness of this policy.

In its request for written evidence, the Committee sought answers to the following questions:

1.   Is enough being done to tackle empty properties in Wales?  If not, what needs to change?

2.   What impact can empty properties have on a community?

3.   How effectively are local authorities using the statutory and non-statutory tools at their disposal to deal with empty properties?

4.   Do local authorities need additional statutory powers to deal with empty properties?  If yes, what powers do they need?

5.   Are owners of empty properties given the support, information and advice that they need to bring properties back into occupation?  If not, what additional help do they need?

6.   Is there sufficient awareness of the practical assistance that local authorities can offer to owners of empty properties?  If not, how could this be improved?

7.   Are the skills and resources of housing associations and the private sector being fully utilised to tackle empty properties?

8.   Is enough being done to ensure empty properties can be brought back into use as affordable homes?  Are there examples of good practice in this area?

9.   Is the power to charge a council tax premium on long-term empty homes a useful tool and is it being effectively used?  If not, how could this tool be made more effective?

Providing Written Evidence

The National Assembly for Wales has two official languages, Welsh and English.

In line with the Assembly’s Official Languages Scheme, the Committee requests that documents or written responses to consultations intended for publication or use in National Assembly proceedings are submitted bilingually. When documents or written responses are not submitted bilingually, we will publish in the language submitted, stating that it has been received in that language only.

We expect other organisations to implement their own standards or schemes and to comply with their statutory obligation.

Please see guidance for those providing evidence for committees.

Disclosure of information

Please ensure that you have considered the Assembly’s policy on disclosure of information before submitting information to the Committee.

Supporting documents

Contact details

Should you wish to speak to someone regarding this consultation, please use the below contact details:

Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee
Welsh Parliament
Cardiff Bay
CF99 1SN

Telephone: 0300 200 6565