Wales underspends on home upgrading

Half of Wales’s local authorities are spending less than they have been allocated to adapt and upgrade vulnerable people’s homes, according to Welsh assembly government forecasts.

The country’s 22 local authorities were expected to spend a total of almost 5m less than they were allocated in 2005-6 for housing renewal and disabled facilities grants, according to figures from social justice and regeneration minister Edwina Hart.

The largest under-spend was in Powys, which spent only 2.7m of its 4.8m housing allocation on improvements.

But some councils, notably Cardiff, Ceredigion and Rhondda Cynon Taf, planned to spend more than their allocation.

The funding, which is not ring-fenced, is used for upgrades such as chairlifts and roof repairs, and is separate from social housing money.

Sue Finch, housing policy officer at the Welsh Local Government Association, said councils were spending less on disabled facilities grants but that some were using the money to tackle homelessness.

The assembly government will publish actual figures on councils’ expenditure in July.


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