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08 April 2014

Welsh Government and Community Housing Cymru launch Housing Supply Pact

Welsh Government and Community Housing Cymru launch Housing Supply Pact.

The Welsh Government and Community Housing Cymru will join together today (April 8) to launch a Housing Supply Delivery pact to deliver 10,000 affordable homes during this term of Government.

The pact, will be launched at a site currently being developed by Monmouthshire Housing Association and clearly sets out commitments for both parties.

While 60% of the Welsh Government’s affordable housing target of 7,500 homes was reached in the first two years of this administration, the majority delivered by housing associations, the need for new homes still significantly exceeds supply.

Housing and Regeneration Minister, Carl Sargeant, has responded by increasing the target during this term of government to 10,000 additional affordable homes and has called on housing organisations to do all they can to achieve this.

The pact supports the delivery of the increased target, setting out commitments from the Welsh Government and the housing association sector for the remainder of this administration.

The Minister said “The Pact we are launching today demonstrates our commitment to work together to deliver on our ambitious target of providing 10,000 affordable homes during this term of Government.

“Increasing the supply of homes in Wales is my top priority and I am committed to working with developers, housing associations, local authorities and financiers to bring forward innovative schemes that will increase the supply of good quality affordable homes.

“The project here in the heart of Monmouthshire is an excellent example of a development that reduces the number of obsolete properties and replaces them with modern homes at affordable rents for the over 60s along with much needed family and starter homes for the local community.”

Nick Bennett, Chief Executive of Community Housing Cymru said: "We warmly welcome the new Pact approach and believe it reflects genuine partnership working. Welsh Government set so many factors in our external environment: regulation, rent policy and capital investment levels. Housing associations continue to deliver and the more security for planning the Welsh Government can give us, the more we can do."

John Keegan, Chair of Community Housing Cymru and Chief Executive of Monmouthshire Housing Association added: “This Pact will not only enable us to provide much needed homes to meet the demand for affordable housing but it will help us create real employment and training opportunities in the local community.”

The pact commits the Welsh Government to:

ensuring a sustainable rent policy is in place for the 5-year period 2014-19

continue to provide capital investment through Social Housing Grant to build on the £82M allocated in 2013/2014 and £58M confirmed for 2014/2015.

working with the housing association sector to further innovate to deliver affordable homes building on the experience of the Housing Finance Grant and the Welsh Housing Partnership

taking action to make publicly owned land available for housing

undertaking a review of Development Quality Requirements and other development related regulation

implementing the risk-based regulatory framework via relationship management and a co-regulation approach

progressing the positive planning agenda

The pact commits the housing association movement - represented by Community Housing Cymru to:

ensuring that all associations work in partnership with the Welsh Government, local authorities and others to deliver the new affordable housing target of 10,000 homes for the period 2011-16

maximising community benefits through investment and other opportunities

striving for the highest standards of governance through implementation of a governance improvement agenda supported by a new Code of Governance for the sector and including a drive for gender balanced boards

working with the Welsh Government to embed risk-based regulation and co-regulation.