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Community Housing Cymru: Building the foundations

Aaron Hill looks forward to the review of affordable housing supply.

In November 2017 we launched our sector vision, Housing Horizons, and announced our plan to develop 75,000 homes over the next 20 years. To help us deliver on this ambition we called on the Welsh Government to undertake a review of housing policy in Wales.

Ten years on from the Essex Review, we called for this review from a position of strength. We believe that good housing should be a basic right for all; that good housing is a starting point to a successful life, including better health and education.

We build our lives around our home and if a person’s home isn’t working for them, it affects everything. Our vision is not just about building a good home, but also about providing foundations for a strong social and community connections around that home too.

Rebecca Evans, the minister for housing and regeneration, launched the review in April. It’s being chaired by Lynn Pamment of PwC, and we have been working closely with the review panel, which met for the first time in June, and with senior officials on this, as well as nominating a number of sector reps to each of the review’s work streams.

The review panel is considering ten key areas of work, including understanding housing need, grant allocation and intervention rates, standards, modern methods of construction, capacity of the public sector and housing associations, and rent policy.

We have a clear sector vision to build a minimum of 75,000 affordable homes in Wales over the next two decades and this can’t be done without a full analysis of Welsh housing policy and how it is put into practice. The results of the review will be released in April 2019, so expect a busy few months from CHC including thought-leadership events and lots of exciting engagement with our members to ensure the review makes recommendations which will build an environment which will deliver for housing associations.

We are excited at the prospect of what the housing review will bring. We need a solid policy framework to meet the vision we set out in Housing Horizons, and to make affordable home delivery a reality for all. This would be a huge step in dealing with the current housing crisis.

Aaron Hill is assistant director of policy and public affairs at CHC

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