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Welsh housing associations urge review of affordable policy

Words: Huw Morris

Welsh social landlords are calling for a review of affordable housing policy to pave the way for building 75,000 homes by 2036.

Community Housing Cymru (CHC), which represents housing associations, unveiled a 20-year vision including a commitment to double the sector’s delivery rate by building 75,000 homes and creating 150,000 jobs by 2036.

Although the Welsh Government has placed housing as a priority in its Prosperity for All strategy, CHC is calling for “even more ambition, improved partnership working and recognition that affordable housing is the key to prosperity so that housing associations can do even more to tackle Wales’s housing crisis”.

Alongside the policy review, the vision commits members to spend 95p of every pound in Wales, explore the establishment of an innovation hub to enable the development of flexible homes to meet people’s changing needs, and ensure all housing association homes meet near-zero carbon standards.

According to socio-economic data for 2016-17 compiled by CHC, Welsh housing associations built 2,207 homes, an increase of 17 per cent, with around a third built without Social Housing Grant. The sector spent more than £1 billion, with 84 per cent ploughed into the Welsh economy.

“From doubling the delivery rate of affordable homes to ensuring that the right services are built around these homes, it’s crucial that we establish the most effective policy environment to create a solid foundation for current and future generations,” said CHC chief executive Stuart Rope. “This is why we need a review of housing policy in Wales.”

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