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23 June 2017

Housing Horizons Phase Two - Establishing the Challenge

Today (23 June), we’re launching Phase Two of our Housing Horizons project at our first ever Leadership Conference in Cardiff.

Housing Horizons’ main aim is to set a long-term vision for housing associations in Wales. This vision will position housing associations as a partner of choice and an integral part of the solution to the housing crisis.

Following the initial launch of Housing Horizons at our Annual Conference last December, we’ve been busy speaking to members and stakeholders about their perceptions of the sector, how they think others perceive the sector, and what their views are on the challenges ahead in 2036 (twenty years on from the launch) and how we can address these as a sector. We have also commissioned Savills to produce a report on what the challenge for the sector looks like in 2036 in order to inform our long-term vision, and this is the report we’re launching today at our Leadership Conference.

It’s time for the next phase – Establishing the Challenge.

It is clear that demographic changes in Wales will have a big impact on the homes and services we provide. For example, by 2031, 54% of households will be headed by someone over the age of 65 and there will be 100,000 households made up of a single person aged over 85. How suitable are our current homes for an ageing population, and how do we prepare for the increase in people who may want to access housing and services that cater specifically for later years?

Closely related to demographics, household composition is set to change significantly by 2036 which has implications for new and existing housing stock in Wales. Future changes to the sizes and composition of households will impact on demand for certain property sizes, and it is projected that we will see a move away from three person families. How do we ensure that we have enough suitable homes to cater specifically for life in later years as well as for other changing household compositions, addressing concerns around accessibility, adaptability and affordability of maintenance costs?

Lastly, looking at workforce, there will be 96,000 fewer working aged adults by 2036 and a projected growth in part-time work. Bearing this in mind, how can we support the growing number of households with lower incomes due to part time work, and what support can we give to adults to enter the workplace to access better paid jobs? With an ageing population and an increase in retirement age, are our jobs attractive to and suitable for older people?

Visit our Housing Horizons page to read the full report and to read more about the challenges and questions above, as well as finding out how you can get involved and what the next steps are.

We look forward to hearing your views on Phase Two – Establishing the Challenge.