Welsh Houses to Homes Initiative latest update

The Welsh Houses to Homes initiative - built around a loan scheme modelled on the Kent No Use Empty model - continues to deliver promising results according to the latest monitoring report produced by the Welsh Government.

There is now 18-months' worth of data available (from April 2012 to September 2013) and the monitoring report offers many useful insights into how the scheme is working. In April 2012 the scheme was only just getting going so inevitably the volume of approved applications has been increasing, with 45 applications approved in the first year compared with 107 in the first six months of 2013-14.

However the absolute volume of applications received (a opposed to received) seems to have declined, with 241 applications received in the year 2012-13 and only 62 received in the first six months of 2013-14 - a quite significant decline which awaits an explanation. The difference between applications received and approved between the two years obviously indicates that amount of time taken to process the applications and perform the necessary due diligence checks coupled with the back-loading of the applicatoins received in 2012-13 as scheme publicity ramped up later on in the year. Or to put it more simply, many 2012-13 applications were approved in 2013-14.

What works?

A particular virtue of both the Kent and Wales schemes is their relative flexibility, which gives us some insight into the amounts of money that ideally shoudl be available to those seeking loans.

There is a marked difference between the amounts being lent in Wales and the caps often placed on loans by local authority schemes elsewhere, as shown by this table:

  • - 4 loans were for less than £10,000;
  • - 24 loans were for at least £10,000 but less than £20,000;
  • - 71 loans were for at least £20,000 but less than £30,000;
  • - 6 loans were for at least £30,000 but less than £50,000;
  • - 27 loans were for at least £50,000 but less than £100,000;
  • - 19 loans were for £100,000 or more.

Many of the loans are for conversions, so the average loan is £42,261 per application as against £21,296 per unit.

This only scratches the surface of the useful information in the monitoring report and we look forward to the next Evaluation Report (from Sheffield Hallam University) with great interest.

Find out more

The latest monitoring report is available via our Library from here.

Previous stories on the House to Homes Initiative can be retrived by following the Wales tag in our Places tag cloud.

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