Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has today announced that the Welsh Labour Government will implement the Welsh Liberal Democrat policy of providing guarantees for mortgages for first-time buyers of up to 95% for new build homes.
During budget negotiations between the two parties at the end of 2011, it was agreed that the Welsh Liberal Democrats would form part of the discussion to allocate the additional money given to Wales in the Autumn Statement.
Additional Welsh Liberal Democrat priorities agreed during the budget negotiations announced today:
An additional £3 million for NEST and £2 million for ARBED schemes benefitting an extra 1,000 homes
An additional £6 millions to expand the Welsh Housing Partnership, levering in a total investment of £30 million to deliver 280 family homes for immediate rent.
An additional £5 million to double the size of the recyclable empty homes fund, contributing to the target of bringing 5,000 empty homes back into use during this Assembly term.
A Welsh Housing Bond. £4 million will be committed a year for funding for thirty years to support a Bond issue of over £100m, which will finance delivery of more than 1,000 affordable homes over the next four years.
Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, who led the negotiations with the Welsh Government said:
"I am very pleased that the Welsh Liberal Democrats have been able to agree a further supplementary budget with the Welsh government that will boost the construction sector, help reduce the number of people living in fuel poverty and assist first-time buyers purchase their first home and alleviate pressure on the housing market for people in social housing.
"Our priority throughout the budget negotiations has been to stimulate the economy and boost jobs but also to give something additional to the people of Wales. The mortgage guarantee scheme will boost the construction sector but it will also help first time buyers who want to own their house and who can afford the monthly repayment but cannot gather the deposit necessary.
"First time buyers often cannot access the necessary amount of money to put down a deposit on a house which means that the average age of a first time buyer has been increasing. Difficulties in financial markets and banking sectors have made it difficult for people to buy their first home. Welsh Liberal Democrats believe this mortgage scheme will help first time buyers in Wales.
"The schemes to help people reduce their fuel bills will provide an additional 1,000 homes throughout Wales with free full homes energy assessment and home improvements for the most energy inefficient homes. This will safeguard jobs but it will also help the most vulnerable in Wales make ends meet at the end of the month.
"In the Assembly and in Councils throughout Wales, Welsh Liberal Democrats have been calling for empty homes to be brought back into use so that families no longer have to wait on long housing lists for a home. It is absurd that we have so many empty homes waiting to be occupied and so many households on social housing waiting lists. This additional funding will encourage empty home owners to invest in that property and place in on the rental market.
"When the economy is struggling, money that the Welsh Government has at its disposal must go as far as possible and have the biggest impact possible. The Welsh Liberal Democrats have agreed to spend money on projects that are easy to set-up or projects that are already running so that no time is wasted in boosting our economy and creating jobs. The Welsh Liberal Democrats are ensuring that the Welsh Labour Government spends this money wisely."
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