Welsh Government renews PFI commitment
The Welsh Government has renewed its commitment to attracting private finance to the housing sector.
This comes after figures released last week show the lowest house building numbers on record in the country.
Housing minister Huw Lewis said today that he was keen to encourage housing associations to be ‘more innovative’ in finding money for new affordable homes.
The Welsh Government’s housing white paper, which was published last month, includes a target to build 7,500 homes during the term of the government. But government figures revealed that the number of starts in the first quarter of 2012 were the lowest on record.
Just 1,105 new homes were completed in Wales in the first quarter of this year, the lowest since 1974, when the statistics were first collected.
The figure represents the first decrease in the number of starts since 2008/09, bringing house building levels down to numbers seen at the start of the recession.
Of the homes completed in the first quarter of this year, 88 per cent were built by private developers, with 132 completed by social landlords. No new homes were completed by social landlords in 12 of Wales’ 22 local authority areas in the quarter, including Newport and Cardiff, two areas where there is high housing need.
Speaking at a housing summit in Wales today, Mr Lewis said: ‘The current economic situation and the UK government’s fiscal policies mean we must do more with less. We already have examples of new funding models but we must continue to build on these, not only through providing funding but encouraging more associations and other partners to be innovative.’