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Independent review of affordable housing supply

Housing and regeneration minister Rebecca Evans has announced an independent review of affordable housing supply in Wales.

The review will take a year and will examine whether more can be done to increase supply, maximising the resources available, and will be chaired by Lynn Pamment, Cardiff senior partner and government and public services lead at PwC.  She has many years’ experience of providing financial advice to public and private sector bodies, including working with housing associations and others in the affordable housing sector.

The review will:

  • Examine the scope for increasing match funding to build more affordable homes, to maximise the number of homes created by Welsh Government’s contribution to social housing
  • Review the arrangements governing partnership working between local authorities and housing associations
  • Consider the implications of moving to deliver zero carbon homes by 2020, including the role of off-site manufacture and modern methods of construction.
  • Review the standards governing affordable housing and advise on whether they require updating.
  • Make recommendations on a sustainable rent policy that will both allow long term affordability for tenants and allow viability of existing and new housing developments.

It will be expected to issue a report and make recommendations to the Minister by the end of April 2019.

Speaking on a visit to see newly built affordable houses and flats in Pontardawe, Rebecca Evans said:

‘I want this review to ensure we are getting the best value for money in our investments and policy, including how we plan for a zero carbon future and the way in which the sector operates. We know that many more people in Wales want to access affordable housing. The sector in Wales have called on us to look at our policy, and we want to work closely with all stakeholders involved in housing supply to ensure we are building as many homes as possible.’

Stuart Ropke, chief executive of Community Housing Cymru, said:

‘Housing associations in Wales have ambitions to build a minimum of 75,000 affordable homes in Wales over the next 20 years – doubling the current delivery rate. In November 2017 we launched Housing Horizons, our sector vision to make good housing a basic right for all. This far reaching ambition cannot be achieved without a full analysis of Welsh housing policy and how this is put into practice, so we are delighted the minister has backed our call for a review. Through the review we can establish the most effective policy environment to meet our affordable home delivery ambition and build a solid foundation for current and future generations. If we get this review right, it will be a big step towards solving the housing crisis.’

Matt Dicks, director of the Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru said:

‘We welcome today’s announcement of a review into housing policy in Wales. It rightly looks at what kind of homes we need in the future and how we can sustain longer-term investment whilst maintaining the affordability of our housing. Over the lifespan of the one-year review we look forward to engaging fully, bringing to life the experiences of housing professionals from across the sector in Wales to provide timely insight and real-life expertise.’

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