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Move to compulsorily purchase empty houses to provide rental units

The Welsh Government wants to reform compulsory purchase powers - meaning any landlord with a long-term empty property in the region is at risk of having it seized if current consultation proposals become law.

A statement from the Cardiff-based administration says it wants to “streamline and modernise compulsory purchase procedures to support recovery from the pandemic and bring forward land to increase the supply of affordable housing” - a key priority for the Welsh Government.

The change will specifically apply to Empty Dwelling Management Orders. 


The Welsh Government estimates there are currently 30,000 long-term empty homes in Wales, with substantial volumes of vacant land too, which could be regenerated to increase housing supply and improve local communities.

In March £15.2m was allocated to tackle 66 of the worst empty properties across Wales and bring them back into use - mostly for future letting in the social rental sector. 

Minister for Housing and Local Government Julie James says: “In towns and villages across Wales, we see empty homes, former commercial properties and vacant land - which can often be a huge blight on local communities. 

“Improving the delivery of homes in the right locations through the planning system is critical and we are determined to do everything we can to help build the homes people want, and help create jobs closer to people’s homes.

“The Welsh Government has put placemaking at the heart of the planning system in Wales and believes compulsory purchase powers are an important action tool which can help support local authorities and communities recover from the Covid-19 crisis.  

“Used properly, compulsory purchase powers can contribute towards effective and efficient regeneration, the revitalisation of communities, placemaking, and the promotion of business, leading to improvements in quality of life.”

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    • 20 October 2020 07:43 AM

    So now, even the Govt. in Wales has become a thief!!!!!!!!!

  • jeremy clarke

    What is it with UK governments and private property, are we becoming a communist state by stealth? rather than steal an owner's property, why not help fund the owner to bring the property into use?

  • Matthew Payne

    I'm not sure what needs reforming, they have had all the power they have needed since the 2004 Housing Act to do this.

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    If the DWP paid the landlord direct then fewer properties would be empty, no need for draconian powers of confiscation.

    • 21 October 2020 09:28 AM

    Warning 'clawback'

    Very risky for LL to accept direct rent payment though better than receiving nothing I suppose!!


    Not if you received the money in good faith (i.e. you weren’t aware the tenant was no longer eligible).

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    • 21 October 2020 11:02 AM

    @luke aron

    Good luck fighting the Council in Court!
    Direct payment of HB is a mugs game.
    You are simply wrong.
    Good faith!?

    How do you prove that!?

    No sane LL should ever accept direct payment unless evicting.
    HB payments should be paid via a Credit Union


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