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22 May 2012

Without investment and innovation, Welsh housing target would take 11 years to reach

An additional £5million for the Empty Homes recyclable loan, a mortgage guarantee scheme for first time buyers and an additional £6million for the Welsh Housing Partnership were announced as part of the Welsh Government’s Infrastructure Investment Plan for Growth and Jobs today.

The announcement was welcomed by Community Housing Cymru and comes a day after the launch of ‘Homes for Wales – a white paper for better lives and communities’. £2m extra was also announced for Arbed and £4m per year for 30 years for a Welsh Housing Bond. Jane Hutt, AM also stated that she would be allocating £260m of centrally retained funds for 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 at a later stage.

Nick Bennett, CHC Group Chief Executive said: ‘We are delighted to see that 40% of the £40m has been allocated to housing. Innovative funding in the form of a Welsh Housing Bond and the Welsh Housing Partnership will help towards meeting the 12,500 affordable housing target as set by Huw Lewis AM last week, but we also need an indication as to how much of the £260m will be allocated to the social housing grant pot for 2013/14 and 2014/15. £122.5 million was stripped from the social housing grant budget in the comprehensive spending review, and while almost £30m was reinstated from the Welsh Government’s economic stimulus package and other reserves, there is still no indication of how much will be made available for social housing for 2013-2015. Without further investment in housing, it’s very difficult to say if we’ll be able to meet the Welsh Government’s housing target by 2016.''