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Company builds hundreds of affordable houses in county hit by second homes ‘crisis’

05 May 2021 3 minutes Read
Lon Bach Odro, Bethesda. Handout by Adra.

Gareth Williams, local democracy reporter

A housing chief in a county blighted by out-of-reach property prices has welcomed the completion of its 200th affordable new build.

With recent research showing that as many as 60% of Gwynedd’s residents are priced out of the housing market – with the area said to be suffering from a “housing crisis” –  the local authority recently launched a £77 million programme to deliver 1,500 affordable homes.

With Gwynedd also having the highest percentage of second homes in Wales, the programme will use proceeds from the recently doubled second and empty home premium to fund more than 30 projects within the action plan.

But Adra, formerly known as Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd, has also been playing a role in providing realistic housing and recently hit an important milestone in the county.

The private company, formed in 2010 to take over Gwynedd Council’s former social housing stock of over 6,000 properties, has now completed its 200th affordable home in the county.

Having only launched its own house building programme in 2016, the company is currently working on a further 130 homes out on site in Gwynedd, with more than 200 also in the pipeline.

Lon Bach Odro, Bethesda. Handout by Adra.

Iwan Trefor Jones, Adra’s Deputy Chief Executive, said:  “We are proud of the growth of our development programme and Adra’s significant investment in Gwynedd.

“We will be building on this work and will continue to with our wide range of partners to deliver new affordable homes to help to combat the housing crisis.

“We are taking a proactive and positive approach to supporting communities across Gwynedd. There is a huge demand and desperate need for local affordable homes.

“An average of 60% of households in Gwynedd are priced out of the housing market. The aim is to ensure a supply of new affordable housing will be available for young, local people and families, through the houses we are building.”

‘Challenges’

Recently completed projects include those in Aberdyfi, Dolgellau, Abererch, Bangor, Cricieth and Caernarfon, with each offered for either social or affordable rent.

Meanwhile, the company is also partnering with Gwynedd Council on developing 28 flats for people aged over 55 at the former Canolfan Frondeg site in Pwllheli, as well as its first scheme in Bala which will offer nine homes.

Cllr Craig ab Iago, Gwynedd Council’s portfolio holder for housing, said: “The lack of housing options for local people is one of the main challenges in Gwynedd today and I am confident that Adra’s growth is making a positive difference to the sustainability of our communities, in terms of local housing, jobs and opportunities.

“It is great news for local families and for people who desperately need affordable housing. We have a strong partnership with Adra and welcome its commitment to the people of Gwynedd.”

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