The Welsh Government should commit to boosting the energy efficiency ratings of PRS homes and fund the installation of large-scale adaptations and safety improvements. An important first step towards this would be to match, or better, the green energy support schemes of other British nations, particularly the Green Homes Grant. This will ensure Wales does fall behind the rest of the UK. Additionally, local authorities should liaise with energy providers to maximise and target the use of Eco-Flex money and other grants.
Private landlords’ capacity could be utilised by local authorities to meet their objective of filling empty homes. Given this will regularly mean the need to renovate and provide more homes, landlords willing to take on empty homes to bring them back into use should be encouraged to by:
- Removing the second home Land Transaction Tax premium
- Introducing interest-free council loans or grants in lowvalue and hard-to-rent areas
- Introducing a holistic package of Council Tax incentives, recognising the potential behavioural impact of sanction and reward in the system
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Improving Homes - Wales
Last updated: 11/03/2021 at 13:18 - 4.53 MB
What we are calling for:
- Introduction of funding similar to the UK Government’s Green Homes Grant in place in England
- Liaison between local councils and energy providers to maximise and target the use of Eco-Flex money and other grants
- Funding to help landlords install adaptations and improve safety standards where large costs are likely to be incurred
Empty Homes Proposals
- Remove the second-home Land Transaction Tax premium for buy-to-let properties
- Introduce interest-free council loans or grants in low-value and hard-to-rent areas
- Introduce a holistic package of Council Tax incentives, recognising the potential behavioural impact of sanction and reward in the system
- Fuel poverty and carbon emissions will fall as a result of more efficient private rented sector (PRS) stock
- Greater compliance and cooperation from landlords as funding will incentivise them to act and allow those with less capital to actually achieve the objectives
- Housing will be freed up for renters and buyers to reinvigorate communities saddled with empty properties
- MEES: Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards are regulations that determine the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating a property must have to be legally let. The minimum rating is currently E, with plans to raise it to C in less than a decade. There is money available but there is a limit to funding. Of UK nations, Wales has the smallest proportion of PRS dwellings with EPC rating between A-C and the highest proportion with a D rating
- Green Homes Grant: This UK Government scheme is available until April 2022 to homeowners, including landlords, in England. Landlords can apply for a voucher towards the cost of installing energy efficient and low-carbon heating improvement in their homes. Vouchers cover up to two thirds of the cost of qualifying improvements up to £5,000
Read Ben's story: An empty property, a dysfunctional PRS, and the question of council tax
- 26 March 2021 - NRLA meets Welsh Liberal Democrat leader, Jane Dodds, and Housing spokesperson, Cllr Jackie Charlton
- 24 March 2021 - NRLA meets Mabon ap Gwynfor, Plaid Cymru Senedd candidate for Dwyfor Meirionydd
- 23 March 2021 - NRLA meets Rhys ab Owen, Plaid Cymru Senedd candidate for Cardiff West and South Wales Central
- 11 February 2021 - NRLA meets Cllr James Evans, Conservative Senedd candidate for Brecon & Radnorshire
- 11 February 2021 - NRLA meets with Shadow Housing Minister, Laura Jones MS (Con, South Wales East).
- 4 February 2021 - NRLA hosts regional webinar for North Wales on the Arbed scheme. Watch back here.
- 27 January 2021 - NRLA meets with Senedd committee chair, John Griffiths MS (Lab, Newport East).
- 19 January 2021 - NRLA meets with Hefin David MS (Lab, Caerphilly).
- 10 December 2020 - NRLA release 2021 manifesto. Read more here.