Gwynedd housing leader apologises after council accused of ‘gazumping’ local resident
Gwynedd’s cabinet member for housing has apologised after the council was accused of accidentally ‘gazumping’ a local resident by making a bigger offer on a house.
Cllr Craig ab Iago said that council officers had no idea that a person from the area was attempting to buy a house when they put in a bigger offer.
A message about the purchase had been put up on Facebook by a friend of the individual who had lost out on the house.
Wena Thomas said that Gwynedd Council had “gazumped” her friend by offering £20,000 more for the house. The post was met with bewilderment and anger by many who could not understand why the council had taken the step.
However Craig ab Iago said that they had no idea who was trying to buy the house as the identities of other buyers had been private. He said that Gwynedd Council had now taken their offer back.
He added in a Welsh language post on Facebook that the house was being bought by the council as part of a bid to rent out homes to local people.
“Clearly, Plaid in Gwynedd would never deliberately compete to buy a house against a local individual,” he said.
“Our priority, as Plaid Cymru councillors, is to try to facilitate housing for local people. That is one of my core principles, as a politician in Penygroes.
“Thank you for drawing the matter to my attention. We’re trying to bring houses into the hands of local residents as well. That’s why we’re trying to buy houses in Gwynedd’s villages and towns to support our communities – it’s part of our £77million Housing Action Plan.
“Buying a house is usually a secret process, so officers wouldn’t know who our competitors are. When we were offered our best price for the house, the officers did not know that an offer had been received or know the timescale for the sale.
“Of course, our offer was withdrawn first thing on Friday morning and I apologize for causing concern to anyone.
“Please contact your local councillor or myself, if anything like this happens again. Thanks, everyone. ”
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