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23 November 2016

CHC's response to the Autumn Statement

The UK Chancellor has today announced more money for affordable housing in England. As a result of this increased spending, Welsh Government will receive £400m to spend on capital projects through the Barnett formula. Following the Autumn Statement, Community Housing Cymru, the membership body for housing associations in Wales, is calling on Welsh Government to take bold action and to invest this capital on housing led regeneration projects.

Welsh Government’s regeneration programme ‘Vibrant and Viable Places (VVP)’ is due to come to an end in March and as a result, the money currently set aside in the Welsh draft Budget has dropped from £83.5m this year to £17.5m in 2017/18.

Stuart Ropke, Chief Executive of Community Housing Cymru, said: “Building new affordable housing is a win, win situation for everyone. Not only will it create much needed homes, it will also generate thousands of jobs and training opportunities and help boost the Welsh economy.

We have recently been set an affordable housing target of 20,000 homes by Welsh Government, but housing associations are about far more than just the bricks and mortar. We need a housing-led regeneration programme to succeed VVP, and today’s additional funding gives the perfect opportunity to fund a scheme which will not only provide investment in homes but also the much needed investment in communities.”

In announcing £1.4bn for affordable housing in England, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, relaxed the current restrictions on how the money can be spent to obtain government grants. These means English housing associations can build a range of homes in the right places for both rent and ownership.

Stuart Ropke concluded: “Our members have a proven track record of delivery and 90p in every £1 spent by housing associations remains in Wales.

As well, nearly all, that’s 94% of affordable homes built in the past 12 months, were delivered by Welsh housing associations and we are urging Welsh Government to continue to invest in housing led regeneration programmes so we can provide flexible housing solutions in communities where people want to live and work.”