Innovative scheme aims to provide affordable homes for local families
Dale Spridgeon, local democracy reporter
A village where the “social fabric is under threat” could benefit from “much-needed” affordable homes.
Gwynedd Council is “leading the way” with an “innovative” housing scheme aimed at providing ‘intermediate’ housing at Maes Twnti in Morfa Nefyn.
‘Intermediate’ homes are where prices or rents are above those of social rent – but below market housing prices or rents.
The aim is to make the homes available either to rent on an ‘intermediate’ rent or to buy through a shared equity scheme.
It helps those not eligible for social housing but who find it difficult to afford to buy or rent on the usual open market.
The council purchased the site as part of its ‘Tŷ Gwynedd’ scheme, and now has plans for nine properties, subject to planning approval.
The development land is the first to be purchased under the Council’s Housing Action Plan and the planned homes are set to benefit around 40 people.
The project is part of efforts to tackle issues over affordable homes in Wales.
A rise in second homes and holiday lets has partly been blamed for house price increases in popular rural and coastal areas.
The Morfa Nefyn homes are expected to be priced at about four times the local average income not by market values – although that figure is not yet known.
In Gwynedd the average income is estimated at less than £30,000 but the average cost of a home currently stands at about £208,395.
According to Councillor Craig ab Iago, the council’s housing and property cabinet member, there is “much need for affordable homes in the Gwynedd area”.
He said: “I’m extremely proud to be able to share the exciting news that we have bought our first land under the Housing Action Plan.
“Increasingly there are lots of people who are working, but can’t afford to buy a home but are also not eligible for social housing.
“Gwynedd Council is leading the way in helping to solve this problem, we identified that gap and are doing something positive about it, it is quite an innovative scheme.
“The opportunities that will come to the residents of the area thanks to the hard work of our Housing and Property Department are going to significantly change the housing situation of individuals and families for the better in the Morfa Nefyn area.
“Buying development land to build houses is one key project in our Housing Action Plan.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the Maes Twnti development providing life affordable homes for the people of Gwynedd.”
Carys Fôn Williams, head of Gwynedd Council’s housing and property department said: “I feel proud to be part of this exciting development, which is the result of positive and productive discussions over a period of time between officers and local residents.”
Councillor Gareth Tudor Jones, the representative for Morfa Nefyn and Tudweiliog said: “I’m absolutely delighted.
“I congratulate the housing and property cabinet member, and Gwynedd Council’s housing and property department for their vision and choosing Morfa Nefyn where there is a real need for this.”
Liz Saville-Roberts, Dwyfor Meirionnydd’s Member of Parliament said: “It’s so exciting to see the council taking the initiative and acquiring land in a community which, after Abersoch, may be the next to see its social fabric under threat.”
Mabon ap Gwynfor, Dwyfor Meirionydd’s Member of the Senedd added: “Cyngor Gwynedd’s Housing Action Plan is incredibly important.”
The council recently submitted plans to develop ten affordable homes for intermediate rent on the former site of Ysgol Babanod Coed Mawr, Bangor.
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