Friday, 27 March 2015

Committee calls for Welsh house building target

A Welsh Government committee has called for an affordable housing target for the country.

The cross-party Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee’s report on the provision of affordable housing in Wales recommended finding more public land for homes and an evaluation of the national housing strategy, as well as an overall house building target for Wales.

The Welsh Government will publish a white paper on housing next month, in anticipation of a Housing Bill later in the assembly term.

Community Housing Cymru, which represents landlords across Wales, has said 8,000 homes are needed by 2015 to meet demand.

‘The sector has produced around 2,000 new additional houses this year but we will be falling off a cliff unless we can sustain investment over the next three years,’ Nick Bennett, chief executive of CHC, said.

‘The recommendation by the Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee now gives political parties the opportunity to set a target to focus minds and resources and for CHC members to work in partnership to deliver at least 8,000 new affordable homes by 2015 – but to do that we need a new target and additional resources going forward.’

The committee also recommended more work on empty homes and that the Welsh Government should set up a mortgage indemnity scheme.

More than 50 people and organisations gave written evidence or appeared before the committee, including housing charities, mortgage lenders and house builders.

Ann Jones, chair of the committee, said: ‘The committee recognises that the Welsh Government intends to address some of our concerns in the forthcoming Housing Bill which will be put forward during this assembly.’

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