A Renewal Area is an area identified as having poor housing conditions, coupled with social, economic and environmental needs. By focusing activity and investment in the area, the aim is to reverse the process of decline and increase public confidence by improving living conditions, the general environment and to stimulate the local economy. Renewal Areas generally have a ten year lifespan.
There are currently two Renewal Areas in Rhondda Cynon Taf:
Treherbert and Tynewydd (declared November 2002)
Miskin and Penrhiwceiber (declared December 2003)
The Welsh Assembly Government currently allocates resources specifically for Renewal Areas by way of an annual bidding process. Investment from both the public and private sector enables the Council to tackle poor housing conditions and environmental concerns through the improvement of the housing stock and investment in community and environmental initiatives.
Group Repair Schemes
Housing improvements are undertaken in each Renewal Area mainly via a rolling programme of Group Repair Schemes which are implemented to renovate the external fabric of blocks or terraces of houses in the area. Most typically this would involve the renewal of roof coverings, fascia boards, rainwater goods, pointing, rendering and the fitting of UPVC windows and doors.
Group Repair Schemes operate on a street-by-street basis. Group Repair Grants are only available to property owners who are invited to participate in a scheme and not to everyone living within the renewal area boundary. Therefore you can not apply to be part of a scheme but must wait until you are invited to participate.
Applicants’ financial contributions towards Group Repair Grants are set at a maximum of 10% of overall costs for owner/occupiers and 25% for landlords. Owner/occupiers may opt to undergo a test of resources to ascertain whether their contribution could be reduced due to their financial circumstances.
Energy Efficiency Grants for First Time Buyers
In 2009 additional funding was awarded by the Welsh Assembly Government to assist first time buyers within the two Renewal Areas to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
The maximum grant available is £5,000 per household and eligible works include loft and cavity wall insulation, double glazing and energy efficient heating systems. Eligible properties will be assessed to determine the most feasible, cost effective measures to maximise the benefits to the homeowner.
To qualify the following criteria has to be met:
Applicants must be first time buyers
Applicants must have completed the purchase of their property after 27 June 2007
Applicants must occupy the property as their only or main residence
Applicants must be first time buyers of existing, not newly built, dwellings
Assistance can not be offered to those applicants who have bought homes under the Right To Buy, Preserved Right To Buy or Right To Acquire schemes.
Applicants will not be eligible if they qualify for assistance under the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme unless the work required is not covered by HEES.
If you meet the above criteria and are interested in applying for this assistance, please contact the Renewal Area Office on 01443 775910.
Neighbourhood Renewal Area – Non-Housing Fund
Community-based organisations are being invited to apply to Rhondda Cynon Taf Council for funding for schemes that will benefit the wider population in the Neighbourhood Renewal Areas.
Capital Funding is available for environmental improvement projects in the identified areas of Treherbert, Tynewydd, Miskin and Penrhiwceiber.
The investment will complement the significant work already taking place in the Neighbourhood Renewal Areas, which has seen extensive work on private houses and the community infrastructure with the aim of raising the quality of life for all.
The capital funding is available via the Rhondda Cynon Taf Neighbourhood Renewal Area Non-Housing Fund for formally constituted community organisations and is for capital projects that will deliver sustainable benefits to Neighbourhood Renewal Area residents.
For further information about the Neighbourhood Renewal Area Non-Housing Fund please refer to the NRA Non-Housing Fund Applicant Guidance Notes or for further guidance on the renewal area boundaries and project eligibility criteria, please contact the NRA Office on 01443 775910.