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22 December 2021

Looking back on 2021 – investing in and building affordable homes in Wales

Looking back on 2021 – investing in and building affordable homes in Wales

The last year has been a record breaker for social housing investment in Wales, and one that’s seen challenges mount for communities, those building homes and those living in them, says Laura Courtney.

The last year has been a record breaker for social housing investment in Wales, and one that’s seen challenges mount for communities, those building homes and those living in them.

For me, these are some of the stand out moments:

  • March: The Social Housing Grant was given a £50m boost from the Welsh government, bringing its total investment to £250m – four times more than in 2016

  • April: Housing associations made the case for homes to be at the heart of the manifestos of all political parties ahead of the May 2021 Senedd elections

  • May: The incoming Welsh government committed to building 20,000 low carbon homes for social rent over the new Senedd term

  • September: Awareness of the pressure on supply chains, prices of materials and living costs increased.

  • October: The UK government spending review gave the Welsh government flexibility for longer term budgeting across various policy areas including housing.

  • November: A co-operation agreement between the Welsh government and Plaid Cymru was finalised, with an emphasis on increasing access to high quality, affordable housing and action to address the impact of second homes in rural communities.

  • December: The Welsh government published its draft budget for 2022/23 and beyond. It comprises a multi-year investment programme to support the delivery of the 20,000 new energy efficient social homes for rent promised in the Programme for Government. Watch our summary of the announcement here.

As ever, housing associations will match government investment in new homes under the new grant framework blending private borrowing with government investment to make public investment stretch further.