Tough question that: should we charge owners of long-term empties more council tax? Must be a lot of empty/second-home owning councillors in Wales.
Welsh Government web-page which hosts downloadable detailed guidance on the provisions for Second Homes Premium and Empty Homes Premium.
This provides a good template for how Second Homes Premium might be implemented in Scotland and England.
Welcome to the 21st century.
The BBC maths is wildly off if, as reported, a 50% discount might be replaced by a 100% premium: that would indicate an increase to up to 4 times current level, not 'double' as suggested by the story.
This is a PDF of an EHN presentation to an Empty Homes Conference in Ireland, held at Croke Park stadium on 9th March 2017.
It provided a thumbnail sketch of local interventions in England/Wales along with an overview of various strategic approaches to the empty homes issue, contrasting the different approaches taken in Scotland, Wales, Kent and England.
Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Anglesey, Conwy, Ceredigion, Powys, Gwynedd and Flintshire are the first Welsh Local Authorities looking at implementing a 50% council tax premium on empty and second homes for 2017/18. Councils must make the declaration by 1st April 2016 to begin charging in 2017/18.
This report cites the views of the Lib Dems (who originally introduced Houses to Homes) as well as the current Welsh Government. As is so often the case there is a s dispute about the significance of the figures.
Sheffield Hallam University has now produced its final evaluation of the Welsh Houses to Homes initiative, highlighting its successes and offering recommendations to build on the experience to date.
From the Welsh Government press release:
The Welsh Government has today announced that it has exceeded its target for bringing empty properties back into use.
A total of 7,560 vacant private homes have been brought back into use by direct action from councils, exceeding a target of 5,000 set for 2017, according to official data.
The Welsh Houses to Homes initiative continues to deliver solid results according to the latest Interim Evaluation report by Sheffield Hallam University, now including data from the first two years of the scheme and collected up to March 2014.
The Welsh Draft Budget for 2015-16 adds yet another £10million to the Houses to Homes loans initiative, bringing the total to £30million since the inception of the scheme.
The Draft Budget notes:
Financial transactions funding of £10m in 2015-16 to expand investment in this scheme to over £30m since its launch in 2012. This successful initiative has already delivered almost 500 residential units and leveraged an additional £7.8m of private sector funding to bring empty homes in Wales back into use and increasing the supply of housing across Wales.