Empty property transformed to provide safe home for young people

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, in partnership with RHA Wales, has secured funding from Welsh Government’s Phase 2 Homelessness Capital programme to transform an uninhabitable residential property into a safe and comfortable young persons supported living scheme.

The supported living scheme is located in Hughes Street, Tonypandy, with easy access to the nearby town centre and local amenities. The property will comprise of 4 x 1-bedroom self-contained studio apartments on the lower and upper ground floors and staff accommodation on the first floor. The scheme will be managed by Hafan Cymru who specialise in providing support to younger people.

Empty properties are a blight on communities. They are a financial expense to owners and the Council, and in many cases, a missed opportunity to provide affordable housing locally. In this instance, the transformed property will provide safe homes for young people at risk of homelessness.

Empty properties are also more likely to be left to deteriorate, having a negative impact on the appearance of communities and attracting anti-social behaviour.

The scheme was initially given planning approval in Autumn 2020. However, due to the pandemic and the impact on supply chains, work was required to be delayed, and is due for completion in early 2023.

Councillor Bob Harris, Cabinet Member for Public Health & Communities, said: “This is an incredibly important scheme which provides solutions to a number of issues.

“Firstly, we are providing a warm, safe and stable home for some of our most vulnerable residents, who will also have ongoing support to help them navigate living independently.

“Secondly, a previously uninhabitable building which has long been a blight on the community has a new lease of life. Empty properties are such a waste and add nothing to the communities in which they are located.

“It’s fantastic to see Rhondda Cynon Taf Council once again working with RHA Wales to bring a previous empty property back into use.”

The innovative scheme will be built using Modern Methods of Construction and costs are estimated to be £722,000, of which RHA Wales have received £411,000 of the Phase 2 Homeless programme funding, and the remaining £311,000 being financed by RHA Wales.

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