An article in Inside Housing got us thinking about the state of housing in Wales. 

Can we compare Northern England to Private Renting in Wales?

Inside Housing magazine (covers English housing) ran a report this week regarding poor quality homes in the north of England.

It claimed that there are approx. 1million ‘non-decent’ owner occupier homes and 345,000 ‘non-decent’ private rented homes.

This meant that 27% of the total housing stock in northern England was non-decent.  So, what does non-decent mean?  I’m sure the Smith Institute (who wrote the report) has some highly technical definition but let’s call it as it is…..rubbish housing that no one wants to live in!  I.e. damp, cold, drafty, unhealthy, unsafe.

Worryingly, it said that half of non-decent homes have at least 1 person with a long term illness or disability living in them – well above English averages.

Does this resonate in Wales?  What is your experience of private renting in Wales?

With regards to private renting in England, it blames a national policy bias towards new builds in high demand (in mainly southern) areas.  Does this sound familiar in Wales?

In Wales, developers are trying to concrete over every inch of Cardiff, including building very expensive homes in the north of the city. At the same time, other areas of Wales are crying out for good quality, affordable housing. Better distributed regeneration planning could keep communities together and assist in creating a more equitable, prosperous Wales.

Final thought: Regarding the 1million ‘non-decent’ owner occupied homes, it shows that stretching yourself to get on the very expensive property ladder does not always mean you’ll end up with a good quality home. It can often mean that there is no money left to fix leaks, mold, broken boilers or tackle vermin.

David Wilton, Director, TPAS Cymru