Robart, 21 and Gwen, 20, buy first home thanks to new partnership to boost rural housing Thursday 23 March 2017

An innovative housing partnership is helping a young couple to buy their first home together.

Robart, 21 and Gwen, 20, buy first home thanks to new partnership to boost rural housing

Housing association Grŵp Cynefin and Gwynedd Council have formed the Local Homes Scheme, to deliver affordable homes in rural Gwynedd.

They are launching the scheme at Grŵp Cynefin’s new development at Mynytho.

And the first couple to benefit has praised the partnership for enabling them to buy years before they could otherwise afford to.

Robart Williams, 21, and his partner, Gwen Jones, 20, are buying their new home through shared ownership.

Robart lives with his parents in Pwllheli, while Gwen lives with her family in Pencaenewydd.

Robart said: “We can move in together sooner, because we can afford to buy our own home through this scheme.

“Grŵp Cynefin owns a share of the property, which makes the remaining share affordable for us to buy.

“We can also continue to live locally. Our house in Mynytho is just five minutes away from where Gwen works, whereas I work in Caernarfon.”

Robart is a technician for Gwynedd Consultancy while Gwen works as a childminder in the Meithrinfa Blagur nursery.

The nine-property development now nearing completion at Mynytho is the first selected for the partnership.

New homes in Penygroes, Waunfawr, Bethesda and Llanuwchllyn are also being considered as part of the scheme.

Under the partnership, future developments will be planned according to local housing need.

Locations have been selected because they lack specific opportunities for young people wishing to buy a first home or rent a property in a rural community.

In Penygroes, for example, the market price of a home to buy is lower than the cost of building it.

Grŵp Cynefin specialises in providing affordable homes in rural communities.

Its chief executive, Walis George, said: “Young people in particular are continuing to be priced out of the local housing market.

“Thanks to this partnership, they can buy on the open market or find a suitable home to rent in their locality.

“Fewer local people should have to move away, just to afford a roof over their heads.

“In some areas, people need help to buy, whilst in others, rental could be a better option.”

Councillor Ioan Thomas, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet member for Housing, said: “If we want to ensure the long-term sustainability of our rural communities it is vital that young families have access to suitable housing that allows them to stay in Gwynedd.

“By working with Grŵp Cynefin, we will be able to offer the kind of housing that local residents require – homes to rent, houses to buy and shared ownership suitable for first time buyers and in other cases bungalows that would be more suitable for older residents.”

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