Wales has set out its ambitions for housing, now it has to deliver
Crunch time for Wales
There are a number of eye-catching measures in this week’s Welsh housing white paper - for example regulation of the private rented sector and ending homelessness for families - but can Wales put its money where its mouth is?
A key test will come at today’s meeting at the Treasury in London where Welsh housing minister Huw Lewis - inspired by the English example - will attempt to broker a deal to extract Welsh councils from the centralised housing revenue account.
The signs are the UK government will be receptive to a deal, but the key sticking point will be over how much additional borrowing room Mr Lewis can secure for Welsh councils on top of their share of the country’s £400 million housing debt - or £4,488 per property. Compared with England this figure is low, but there are just 89,000 council homes in Wales (70,000 have been transferred to housing associations) so it is doubtful the prize is large enough to underpin the resurgence of Welsh housing policy, as Mr Lewis hopes.