Page last updated at 18:09 GMT, Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Welsh Liberal Democrats debate

Liberal Democrat Peter Black AM called on the Welsh Government to introduce an Empty Homes Strategy on 23 November 2011.

According to the Mid and West Wales AM there are currently between 22,000-26,000 empty homes in Wales which are having a negative impact on the social environment of the area and those who live there.

Mr Black also called on the Welsh Government to make representations to the UK government to reduce the rate of VAT on building repairs and improvement work to existing buildings from 20% to 5%.

Speaking on behalf of the Conservatives, Mark Isherwood AM called for the development of a database of long term empty homes in each county and stressed that bereaved estate cases should be dealt with sensitivity.

Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood urged the Welsh Government to publish targets for the number of empty homes to be brought back into use each year, a recommendation which was supported by Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams AM.

Responding to the debate, Housing Minister Huw Lewis confirmed that he was taking a number of actions to reduce the number of empty properties.

He announced that he has secured £5million in capital funding to be used to target empty homes and is developing a national co-ordinated programme with the Welsh Local Government Association and Local Authorities to bring down the number of vacant properties.

The motion was approved.

Read this in Welsh.


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