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New Programme for Government launched

First minister Mark Drakeford promises ‘a stronger, greener and fairer Wales’ in a new Programme for Government launched today.

Climate change and the environment will be at the heart of the new government and the statement highlights the creation of a new ‘super-ministry’b ringing together the big policy areas to help Wales reach its legally binding target of reaching Net Zero by 2050.

For the first time, it says, transport, planning, housing and energy are brought together, with the environment, to tackle the climate and nature emergencies, making sure climate change is firmly on the agenda for every public service and private sector business.

The programme features key housing pledges including 20,000 new low-carbon social homes for rent and improved building safety to make people feel safe in their homes.

It also includes a Welsh language Community Housing Plan, reform of homelessness services to focus on prevention and rapid rehousing, support for co-operative and community-led initiatives, decarbonisation through retrofit and the creation of a timber-based industrial strategy.

Wider pledges include paying care workers the real living wage, seeking a 30 per cent target for working remotely, a new 10-year Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan for a zero carbon economy, a basic income pilot, council tax reform and possible local rates of Land Transaction Tax.

The Climate Change ministry will also advance legislation to enact the recommendations of the Law Commission on leasehold reform and ‘develop a national scheme restricting rent to local housing allowance levels for families and young people who are homeless or who are at risk of homelessness’.

Matt Dicks, national director of CIH Cymru, said:

‘We strongly welcome a focus on protecting the environment and off-setting the negative impact of climate change on our communities and the lives of future generations. The 20,000 low carbon social housing target is ambitious and will test the ability of the sector to deliver at that scale, and makes it even more important to scale-up innovation, grow supply chains and develop the right skills in the workforce.’

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

‘We are pleased to see Welsh Government reflecting many of the key messages of our ‘Home’ manifesto in their Programme for Government for the next five years, and have clearly listened to the important contribution that good quality, affordable homes can make to Wales’ social, economic and green recovery. It is vital that we make swift progress on determining the detail and how we will collectively achieve the welcome ambitions that have been set out. Housing associations are committed to playing their full part, working in partnership with Welsh Government and others to make the biggest difference to people and communities across Wales.’


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