A DRIVE to build new housing stock could help prevent the exodus of young people from Powys, councillors have said amid warnings over soaring housing costs.

This is a question from a member of the public which will be posed to the Liberal Democrat/Labour and Green party minority administration at a council meeting on Thursday, July 20.

The question has already been submitted and a response provided by the relevant councillor on the Powys Cabinet.

Phoebe Jenkins said: “Residents are being priced out of the housing market, whether that’s first time buyers or families who need to expand.

“There are no new affordable home developments, nor any existing properties available.


“Properties that are on the market exceed the financial capabilities of those working in the area.”

Ms Jenkins explains that for sale prices three bedroom properties in the town of Hay-on-Wye start at £300,000 with most being around £400,000.

“If you take the average salary of a two adult family, and a large deposit, it is still impossible to reach,” said Ms Jenkins.

She also explains it is “incredibly difficult” to get a mortgage with lenders rejecting applications for a myriad of reasons including location, infrastructure.

Ms Jenkins also said that private rental properties for families are also “way above affordability.”

Ms Jenkins said: “They are often left with little or no choice but to move out of the area, which will have huge social and economic effects on communities.

“How will Powys County Council help local families stay in their hometowns?”

Deputy council leader and cabinet member for housing and tackling poverty, Labour’s Cllr Matthew Dorrance said: “The council is working to address the challenges of housing affordability in Powys. ”

County Times: Cllr Matthew DorranceCllr Matthew Dorrance

He explained that after a 30 year hiatus of not being allowed to build houses, the council has now started to build them.

So far 129 council homes have been completed.

Cllr Dorrance said: “The target is to have added another 350 new homes to the council’s total stock by 2031.

“Between 2026 and 2031, the council’s development programme – taking into account secured and unsecured land – stands at 217 new homes.”

Cllr Dorrance believes that other sites and opportunities will become available by 2031.

Cllr Dorrance explained that the council will add to its available housing stock by continuing its property buying programme.

Cllr Dorrance said: “In 2023-2024, we will be ramping up our work to bring empty properties back into use as homes.

“This includes making available to people in Powys the Welsh Government’s Empty Homes Grant which provides financial help for people to buy and bring into use a long-term empty property as a home for themselves and their family.”

Following the response Ms Jenkins will be allowed to ask a follow up question at the meeting.