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Look out for the new WHQ

New council homes, the role of the traditional housing officer and the future of the private rented sector in Wales all feature in the Spring issue of WHQ that will be published this week.

Subscribers can also look forward to articles on professionalism in social housing, decarbonisation, different approaches to anti-social behaviour, the potential of modern methods of construction, anti-racism and housing for older people in Wales. Plus much, much more.

With a green paper due shortly on fair rents and the right to adequate housing, our theme this time is the sector that plays a key role in Welsh housing.

The private rented sector now accounts for 15 per cent of homes in Wales, double the proportion 20 years ago, and it is home to tens of thousands of people who might once have hoped to buy or to get a social tenancy. Students, refugees and local authorities looking for tenancies for homeless people also rely on it – and landlords can look to an alternative market for short-term holiday lets.

This issue reflects views from across the sector. Sam Coates of ACORN Cardiff says regulation needs to go much further to redress the imbalance of power between landlords and tenants, while Jennie Bibbings of Shelter Cyrmu says Wales risks becoming ‘odd country out’ on banning no-fault evictions.

However, Steven Bletsoe of the National Residential Landlords Association argues that regulatory and tax changes have led to a shortage of decent accommodation that would be compounded by any prospect of rent controls. Tim Thomas of Propertymark says that driving standards up, rather than landlords out, should be the aim.

The green paper will be published by the Welsh Government as part of the co-operation agreement with Plaid Cymru. But many of the policies affecting private renting are set in Westminster rather than Cardiff Bay. Rob King of the Bevan Foundation presents evidence of the dire impact of the freeze on Local Housing Allowance rates while Bethan Jones of Rent Smart Wales looks at the data on energy performance in the sector with tighter standards on the horizon.

This issue is published a week ahead of TAI 2023 and we also preview many of the key debates there.

Robin Staines hails some significant progress in the Council Housing at Scale and Pace project and says councils will be an important part of meeting the need for new social housing. Matt Dicks reflects on professionalism in housing management in the wake of England’s introduction of mandatory qualifications. And we hear five different perspectives on the question of whether traditional housing officers still exist from Paula Kennedy, Charlotte Whitney, Amanda Lawrence, Ruth Davies and Jason Wroe.

On decarbonisation, we hear from climate change committee chair Llyr Gruffydd on the danger of the private sector being left behind, from David Kirby on a new idea for financing retrofits and from Anthony Williams on Wales and West’s approach. And Hannah Richardson highlights the fundamental importance of engaging tenants.

Look out too for Nick Pettigrew on anti-social behaviour and Clare Budden on why ClwydAlyn has got rid of its anti-social behaviour.

For full access to another packed issue of WHQ, plus our archive of past issues, find out more about subscribing here.


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