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30 September 2014

Welsh Government Announces Draft Budget

Responding to Welsh Government’s Draft budget Sioned Hughes, Interim Chief Executive of Community Housing Cymru said:

“Housing related lines within the Welsh Budget represent less than 5% of the total Welsh Government Budget, yet of the additional £100m Capital Funding investment for 2015-16, Housing will receive £32m, almost a third.”

“We have entered into a Housing Pact with Welsh Government to deliver 10,000 new affordable homes for this term of government, so this funding will help towards meeting this target.”

“Investing in housing is about much more than bricks and mortar. As well as the much needed homes, investing helps stimulate the economy and provides job and training opportunities for local people.”

“We are obviously disappointed with the 7.4% cut to the Supporting People budget and believe that investing in this preventative agenda will bring about savings in the long run. We will continue to work with members and partner organisations to highlight this.”

Key headlines:

Social Housing Grant:
£62m for 2015/16 plus £10m to extend the Affordable Housing Land Scheme.
Additional Capital allocations amounting to £32m in 2015/16 means investing in housing from this budget is £94m.
Other capital investment includes:
• £5m to support the Town Centre Loans Scheme
• £5m funding for Home Improvement Loan scheme
• £10m for Houses into Homes.
• £2m Gypsy and Traveller Sites Programme

Supporting People:
The Supporting People budget has seen a 7.4% cut from £134.4m in 2014/15 to £124.4m in 2015/16.

Care & Repair:
Revenue budget has been cut by 2.9% from £4,623,000 in 2014/15 to £4,488,000 in 2015/16.
RRAP (Rapid Response adaptation programme) Capital has remained untouched at £1,641,000 for 2015/16.

Last year, the programme helped over 14,000 older homeowners with works ranging from hand and grab rails, to ramps and door entry systems, to improved lighting and repairs to uneven floor surfaces.

Chris Jones, CEO of Care & Repair Cymru said: “We are naturally pleased that the Rapid Response Adaptation Programme has been protected. It provides a quick and cost effective service that helps thousands of older people stay living safe and independent at home, while also making economic sense for the NHS and Social Services.

The 2.9% reduction in Care & Repair’s funding is not such good news, and arguably surprising given the impact Care & Repair has on reducing demand in increasingly overstretched A&E departments and ambulance services. While disappointed, we understand the pressures on all public service budgets, and have already started a programme of change which aims to reduce overhead costs and protect front line Care & Repair services from the impact of cuts. We are determined to deliver our services as cost effectively as possible. Every penny counts for older people of Wales living in cold, unfit and inaccessible housing.”

The full budget can be found on Welsh Government’s website: