What's next for affordable housing? Read on to find out how the Minister has responded to the Affordable Housing Supply Review recommendations.

What's next for affordable housing? Minister makes a decision on the Affordable Housing Supply Review recommendations.

As many of you are aware, TPAS Cymru have played an instrumental role in the Affordable Housing Supply Review to ensure that tenants had their say in shaping the recommendations.

Yesterday, the Minister for Housing and Local Government, Julie James AM, gave her response to the recommendations which basically means we can now begin the process of implementing them.

All but one of the recommendations were supported by the Welsh Government, including a five-year rent settlement to provide more clarity and certainty for both tenants and landlords. What this settlement will actually look like will be announced at the end of July 2019; we are hoping the Minister provides some clarification of the meaning of ‘affordability’ within Wales’ housing sector. The recommendations stated that there was no evidence to support anything over Consumer Price Index (CPI), plus 1% (I will elaborate on what this means once the minister has made the announcement).

Other accepted recommendations included:

  • All houses being built to the same standards whether you are in social housing or private housing
  • The development of partnership working with housing associations and local authorities supported by a new approach to grant funding
  • The development of a new strategy to expand the use of off-site manufacturing and modern methods of construction to deliver near zero carbon homes
  • The consideration of an arm’s-length organisation to manage and plan the use of public sector land
  • Local authorities to access housing grant to ensure they are able to build more council houses quickly.

There were no specific recommendations around tenant involvement but as many of you know, there was the recent launch of the Tenant at the Heart review; newly named The Right Stuff - Hearing the Tenants’ Voice. Here at TPAS Cymru, we will be working with you and your landlords to help implement these findings to help ensure tenants play an equal part in decision making processes.

We were pleased to see the pledge to develop low carbon homes as we feel this is a much-needed commitment to the environmental crisis we are facing and is absolutely essential for future generations to thrive.

If you want to find out more about the Tenants at the Heart review, please register here to join David Lloyd’s webinar on Thursday 11th July.