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Last Updated: Monday, 18 June 2007, 14:41 GMT 15:41 UK
'Affordable' 180k home for 135k
Iwan Arthur and Bethan Davies
The scheme has let Iwan Arthur and Bethan Davies buy a house
A scheme aiming to build affordable homes has officially opened four houses in Llanuwchlyn, Gwynedd.

Two will be rented to occupants, and the others will be in shared ownership.

Iwan Roberts, who has shared ownership, said it would have been impossible to get a home in the village otherwise.

"On the open market the three-bedroomed homes here would be worth 180,000, but under the scheme the price is 135,000," said Alwyn Llwyd, of the Tai Clwyd housing association.

The homes have been built in a joint collaboration between Gwynedd Council, Tai Clwyd housing association, and other local agencies.

We've always wanted to live in this village, but it would have been impossible for us to do so without this scheme
Iwan Arthur, house buyer

A spokesman said the hope was to further develop the Maes y Pandy site with seven self-built plots.

"In addition there is the choice of either renting the properties for 60 a week, or shared ownership.

"Here two houses will be rented whilst the other two are in shared ownership of between 50-70% with the housing association."

Mr Arthur, who shares the home with his partner Bethan and son Morgan, said: "We've always wanted to live in this village but it would have been impossible for us to do so without this scheme.

"Our absolute mortgage limit would have been 180,000, and that would have been on the limit of what we could have afforded to pay," he added.

Sylfeini, a local housing committee which backs the project, wants to extend the project further.

"It's essential that young people are kept here because young families support the services in the area, which in turn supports the wider community," said Sylfeini chairman Huw Antur Edwards.

"In the future we hope to develop seven self-build plots for people in the area who are ready to take this step," he added.

Meirionydd Nant Conwy MP Elfyn Llwyd said he would like to see the Welsh Assembly Government set up a department to oversee affordable housing projects across Wales.

"It took quite a lot of work to get this scheme off the ground even though we are fortunate in this area to have an affordable housing officer," he said.

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