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Tax plan could help to fill empty homes across Cardiff

PLANS are being made to tackle the number of empty houses in Cardiff to help communities and create more homes.

The recommendation to the council states that the 50% council tax discount  granted to unoccupied housing is to be stopped if a decision is made next March 31.

Currently 857 homes have remained unoccupied for 12 months or more and the report to the cabinet estimates an increase in income can be made from these properties.

This would see a potential increase of £600,000 in council income which would go to help making more homes available.

Jennie Bebbing from Shelter Cymru said: “Empty housing has been a real problem in some parts of the city.

“Our issue is that housing is at such a premium and we do not make the most of every unit we have. We have a housing crisis at the moment and the amount of people on the wanting list need these homes.

“We’ve done a new report at Shelter Cymru and we have 8,573 people on the social housing waiting list.”

Fly-tipping, vandalism and criminal activity increase near empty properties which affects the look of an area, says the report.

It suggests that making use of empty houses combats anti-social behaviour.

Data shows the problem is widespread across all of Cardiff, especially in the larger areas of Roath, Cathays and Grangetown.

Alexandra Carroll from Moginie James Estate Agents said: “Any empty housing could be put to better use. The homeless element is always the big issue here, the industry could do itself a lot of good working with shelters to help the homeless.”

The proposal is set to be considered by the cabinet on November 15.