A TWO-bedroom low-cost home is to be used to house a homeless family after a council couldn’t find a buyer. 

The house is one of 11 built in Usk in 1990 under the ‘build for sale’ Monmouthshire Model scheme, intended to help local people onto the housing ladder. 

It sees the council provide a loan, usually 30 per cent of the price, with the purchaser raising the balance through a mortgage and savings. When repaid it must be at the same percentage of its value. 

However the homes can only be sold to people living in Usk and neighbouring villages Llanbadoc, Gwehelog Fawr and Llantrissant Fawr. 

Monmouthshire Council’s Labour-led cabinet has now agreed to buy one of the homes after its owners, who own it on a 70/30 basis, gave notice of their intention to sell. 

That gave the council two months to declare its intention to purchase or otherwise they could sell it on the open market. 

A report to the cabinet said the “preference is for these properties to remain as low-cost home ownership and be sold onto a suitable household in housing need”.

But the council can step in and buy the house if no suitable applicants come forward. 

Council leader Mary Ann Brocklesby told the cabinet it was being recommended to buy the house and use it for temporary accommodation for a homeless family, for five to 10 years. 

She said: “We can bring this house back into the council’s ownership rather than allow it to be sold on the open market and ensure an affordable home is not lost but kept within the council.” 

The Labour councillor said there are 50 county households in B&B accommodation, while the report stated in December there were 185 households in temporary accommodation, and the council is seeing an increase in the number of families at risk of homelessness. 

By the end of the financial year next month, the council will have spent £1.865m on B&B accommodation. 

The council has valued the house at £240,000, making the owners’ equity share worth £168,000.

The cabinet agreed to create a £209,442capital budget to buy and refurbish the house.