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Issue 102: April 2016

After a great turnout at the Homes for Wales rally in March, all eyes are now on the Assembly elections on May 5.

As WHQ reports, hundreds of supporters took part in the rally
in the Bay and the march to the city centre to call on the next government to publish an ambitious plan for housing and build a stronger Wales.

The event was more visible and engaged with the public than the Homes for Britain rally that took place before last year’s Westminster election and let’s hope the results are different too. That poll resulted in a Conservative administration that many people believe is intent on dismantling social housing
in England. Thankfully Welsh politics is more consensual, as illustrated by the answers given by the main parties to the question: ‘how would your party solve the housing crisis in Wales?’

Staying with the election, Steve Clarke of Welsh Tenants calls for a bolder programme for housing while Robin Staines of Housing Leadership Cymru has an alternative manifesto that will not cost a penny.

This issue of WHQ also features a preview of TAI 2016. For a taste of what to look out for at this year’s conference at the SWALEC stadium from April 26 to 28, see:

Mike Owen and Gareth Swarbrick on the co-operative alternative
  • Serena Jones on how data sharing helps Coastal proactively support its tenants
Lisa McKenzie giving a voice to the residents of a stigmatised Nottingham estate tell their own story
  • Kellie Beirne explaining the thinking behind the City Deal for Cardiff City Region.

Elsewhere, Rebecca Jackson and Peter Mackie take the long view on homelessness while Victoria Winckler looks to the future of the welfare system in Wales.

Helen White, chair of the newly- appointed independent Regulatory Board for Wales, says the sector has a real opportunity to think differently about the contribution that regulation can make in delivering better value to tenants and communities .

Look out too for articles on the need for better housing data and
the complexities of working housing projections into Local Development Plans, on what Scotland and Wales can learn from each other on digital inclusion and on Carmarthenshire’s ambitious plans for affordable homes.

All of that and much more are to be found in in this issue of WHQ, including all our regular features. I look forward to seeing many of you at TAI.

Jules Birch

Editor, WHQ

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