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19 September 2017

CHC's response to the Welsh Government's 'Prosperity for All' strategy

The Welsh Government has today published 'Prosperity for All' - a national strategy to deliver its key priorities for the rest of this Assembly term.

Stuart Ropke, Chief Executive Officer at Community Housing Cymru said:

“It’s great the Welsh Government has identified housing as one of their top five priority areas and we hope that it is given the same priority in the draft budget, which is due next month.

“We share Welsh Government’s vision for everybody to live in a home that meets their needs, and helps them to live a healthy and prosperous life. To make this a reality and to increase the supply of homes, we entered into a housing supply pact with the Welsh Government to deliver at least 12,500 of their 20,000 affordable housing target. The latest house building statistics released by the Welsh Government highlight the progress being made, but much more needs to be done and our members are constantly looking at innovative ways to increase supply and to make public funding go further.

“We welcome the Welsh Government’s plan to make homes more affordable to rent, particularly in the context of welfare reform which is having a disproportionate effect on Welsh social housing tenants. The introduction of Universal Credit has meant that many people are unable to pay their rent, and the introduction of the Local Housing Allowance cap will result in difficult financial decisions for many people across Wales. We’re pleased the Welsh Government has brought forward a rent policy review, which will play a part in managing the impact of welfare reform.

“We agree that providing secure, affordable housing is the strongest basis for supporting vulnerable individuals to overcome mental health and substance misuse issues. We’ve been working with our members and Cymorth Cymru to demonstrate the importance of the Supporting People fund, and to highlight the difference it is making to people’s lives right across Wales. Supporting People funding is vital to provide and fund quality housing-related support services to enable vulnerable people to live independently at home for as long as they wish or are able to do so.

“Our recent ‘ Housing Horizons’ report highlighted the challenge of providing appropriate homes for an ageing population. The population is estimated to increase by 4.3% by 2036, with nearly all this growth accounted for by people aged over 65. This means we need a long term vision to ensure we are addressing this challenge head on. We will be launching this vision at our annual conference in November.”