Empty Properties


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.


Evidence Gathering

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.


Evidence session

Date, agenda, minutes



1 Paula Livingstone, Swansea Council

Sion Wynne, Wrexham County Borough Council

Gaynor Toft, Ceredigion County Council

Leighton Evans, Carmarthenshire County Council

3 July 2019


Watch on Senedd.tv

2 Lisa Hayward, Welsh Local Government Association

Dewi Morgan, Gwynedd Council

Deb Smith, Torfaen County Borough Council

3 July 2019


Watch on Senedd.tv

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

11 July 2019


Watch on Senedd.tv

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

11 July 2019


Watch on Senedd.tv

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

11 July 2019


Watch on Senedd.tv

6 Hannah Blythyn AM, Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government

Ian Williams, Welsh Government

Vivienne Lewis, Welsh Government

17 July 2019


Watch on Senedd.tv


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

Status: Complete

First published: 18/04/2019