Welsh housing minister addresses housing report

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The Welsh Housing and Local Government Minister, Julie James, on Tuesday 9th July 2019 accepted all but one of the recommendations published in the Independent Review of Affordable Housing Supply in April.

Ms James has also written to planning authorities across Wales to place emphasis on the need for local development plans to support sites which are comprised of 50% affordable housing at the very least.

As well as this, the minister also stated that the five-year rent policy will be announced before the summer Assembly recess and likewise announced a new approach to grant funding for both housing associations and local authorities which the Welsh Government will work to develop alongside said housing associations and authorities.

The Minister stated: “I am clear that our significant investment in affordable housing must be used as effectively as possible, where it is needed most. This is why I am taking action based on the review recommendations.

“I am also writing to all local authorities to ensure they are taking all opportunities to create housing developments with at least 50% affordable housing in Wales. With the removal of the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap, and support from Welsh Government to build affordable housing, I want them to ensure this is a key part of reviewing their Local Development Plans.”

Ms James also announced that local authorities will be able to access a housing grant in order to build more council houses at a faster pace and on a larger scale, while the government is furthermore considering the establishment of a body to support how best to use public sector land in the construction of more housing.

And finally, the minister announced that all housing, regardless of tenure, needs to have the same quality standards in relation to space and energy efficiency and announced consultation on a new strategy to increase the utilisation of offsite manufacturing and modern methods of construction as a means of delivering near zero-carbon homes.

The remaining recommendation will be addressed on Help to Buy in autumn.

The Independent Review of Affordable Housing Supply Report features a list of 22 key recommendations ranging from housing standards to public sector land.

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