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16 November 2017

CHC calls for affordable housing policy review to enable the delivery of 75,000 new homes by 2036

Community Housing Cymru (CHC), the membership body for Welsh housing associations, has called for a review of the affordable housing policy in Wales to enable housing to achieve its full potential to improve people’s lives and the places in which they live. The call comes as CHC announces its 20 year vision for housing associations in Wales, which includes a commitment to double the sector’s delivery rate by building 75,000 new homes and creating 150,000 jobs by 2036.

The twenty year vision, revealed at CHC’s Annual Conference, pledges to make good housing a basic right for all in Wales by 2036 by establishing housing as the starting point for successful lives and successful places.

Ten years ago, the Essex Review of Affordable Housing in Wales laid the foundation to enable housing associations to achieve more. Today, housing is firmly established as a priority in Welsh Government’s Prosperity for All strategy. However, CHC wants to see 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’ housing crisis and add value to communities across Wales.

CHC’s ‘Housing Horizons’ vision outlines a plan to increase and accelerate the work housing associations are already doing to make Welsh communities more healthy, prosperous, and connected. Other commitments for 2036 include:

  • Spending 95p of every pound in Wales
  • Exploring the establishment of a housing innovation hub to enable the development of flexible homes to meet people’s changing needs
  • Ensuring that all housing association homes will meet near-zero-carbon standard

The call for a housing policy review, alongside the launch of the sector’s long-term vision, comes as new figures reveal the vital economic impact of Welsh housing associations. Data released today in CHC’s latest Socio-Economic Impact report demonstrates that, in 2016/17:

  • Welsh housing associations built 2,207 homes - an increase of 17% on last year’s figure.
  • 34% of these homes were built without Social Housing Grant.
  • The sector directly spent over £1bn, with 84% ploughed into the Welsh economy.
  • For every one person employed by a housing association, another one and a half jobs are supported elsewhere in the Welsh economy.

Stuart Ropke, Chief Executive of Community Housing Cymru said: “Our vision for Wales in 2036 is one where good housing is a basic right for all. Housing is the cornerstone of a stable community – it affects our health, the connections we make within communities and, fundamentally, the prosperity of our places.

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. This is why we need a review of housing policy in Wales.

Our latest socio-economic impact report demonstrates that we have a strong track record of building, investing and re-investing. We have big ambitions and we’re embarking on this next stage of the journey to build a stronger and more prosperous Wales, but we cannot do it alone. Today, we’re laying down a challenge to housing associations and our partners across the public, private and third sectors to work together to ensure that good housing is a basic right for all in Wales by 2036.”

Read the full vision here.