The Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee undertook an inquiry into empty properties.
Terms of reference:
The terms of reference for the inquiry were to examine:
- 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.
The Committee held a number of evidence sessions to inform the work, which can be viewed in the table below.
The Committee also consulted on this topic and held an online survey which asked specific questions about empty properties and how they impact communities in Wales. An analysis of the survey results can be viewed below. The consultation closed on 31 May 2019.
Date, agenda, minutes
1 Paula Livingstone, Swansea Council
Sion Wynne, Wrexham County Borough Council
Gaynor Toft, Ceredigion County Council
Leighton Evans, Carmarthenshire County Council
2 Lisa Hayward, Welsh Local Government Association
Dewi Morgan, Gwynedd Council
Deb Smith, Torfaen County Borough Council
3 Shaheena Din, National Projects Manager, Scottish Empty Homes Partnership
Andrew Lavender, Project Consultant, No Use Empty Scheme
Brighid Carey, Project Manager: Community-based approaches, Action on Empty Homes
Nigel Dewbery, Director of Obligation Delivery and Installation Services, E.ON
4 Rebecca Jackson, Policy and Research Officer, Shelter Cymru
Matthew Kennedy, Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru
Michelle Collins, Specialist Team Manager, United Welsh
5 Douglas Haig, Vice Chairman, Residential Landlords Association
Gavin Dick, Local Authority Policy Officer, National Landlords Association
Ifan Glyn, Senior Hub Director, Federation of Master Builders
6 Hannah Blythyn AM, Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government
Ian Williams, Welsh Government
Vivienne Lewis, Welsh Government
The Committee published its report on Empty Properties (PDF, 2MB) on Thursday 10 October.
On publication of the report, John Griffiths AM, Chair of the Committee said:
“Tackling the problem of empty properties can make a significant contribution to wider community regeneration; it can make an area more attractive and increase available housing stock. It is important though, to take account of individual communities’ needs and to ensure action is tailored appropriately.”
The Welsh Government laid its response (PDF, 393KB) to the report on 27 November 2019. The report and government response was debated in Plenary on 4 December 2019.
Business type: Other
First published: 18/04/2019
- Correspondence from the Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government regarding empty properties: additional information - 6 August 2019 PDF 1 MB
- Inquiry into empty properties - summary of survey responses PDF 157 KB View as HTML (2) 273 KB
- Spark Video - call for evidence MP4 36 MB
- Letter to the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) in relation to the meeting on 3 July - 9 July 2019 PDF 106 KB
- Inquiry into empty properties (completed)