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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 September, 2003, 20:28 GMT 21:28 UK
'Solution' to housing crisis
Plaid Cymru councillor Elwyn Edwards
A council working party will now look into Elwyn Edwards' idea
A scheme to help young people build their own homes by selling them cheap plots of land has been backed by a north Wales council.

Plaid Cymru councillor Elwyn Edwards' idea was given full support at a Gwynedd council meeting on Tuesday.

Mr Edwards said there was "a severe crisis in the housing market in Gwynedd".

"First time buyers have no hope whatsoever of buying their own homes because wealthy people from outside the county are driving up property prices," he added.

The county is one of many rural areas where house prices have risen faster than many people can afford.

Under the plans, the land would cost each family just five thousand pounds, leaving them free to borrow money to build their own house.

Mr Edwards, who represents the Llandderfel ward, told the meeting the average wage in Gwynedd was 17,000 a year, and the average price for a house in Bala was 111,000 and 211,000 in Criccieth.

"Someone on an annual salary of 17,000 can borrow 59,500," he said.

"That's a tiny, little house something like a ferret's hutch."

His idea would mean the council would have to retain part ownership of the house, even as little as a 1% share, so that no one could sell it for a huge profit without the permission.

He hopes plots could be sold off for as little as 5,000.

"Prospective buyers would have to submit proof of need for a building plot and these would include first time buyers and growing families," he added.

He also calls for the council to approach mortgage lenders to request they extend the borrowing period from 25 to 50 years for inhabitants of Gwynedd so that their monthly repayments would be halved.

A council working party will now look into Mr Edwards' proposals.


SEE ALSO:
Protest over Welsh home sales
26 Nov 02  |  Wales


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