English | Cymraeg Tel: 029 2076 5760 Connect: Twitter

CIH Cymru – Filling the evidence gaps

Catherine May previous upcoming research from Tyfu Tai Cymru.

Tyfu Tai Cymru (TTC) is a five-year housing policy project which aims to provide insightful analysis and fill evidence gaps to support policy progression.

Funded by the Oak Foundation, the project is managed by the Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru and covers three main strands:

  • Building the right homes to meet demand
  • Making sure housing is always a priority for local government
  • Demonstrating housing’s role in keeping people well and healthy.

Our previous research has included highlighting the role of housing advice in good hospital discharge, community-based solutions to empty properties and analysing the impact of overstretched supply chains on the housing sector in Wales.

We are currently working on two research projects looking at distinct areas of interest in different parts of the housing sector. Firstly, we will be producing the third and final report from our research looking into the experience of housing professionals in local government working through the COVID-19 pandemic. Our previous surveys have revealed that for many people they work in housing because of a desire to help others, that they are proud of the work done to get people into temporary housing and to allow staff to work from home in record time. They also told us about the toll of working long hours and of their concerns that there is not enough social housing for people who are currently housed in temporary accommodation.

Responses to our latest survey showed us that local authority staff are concerned about the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on communities and availability of appropriate services to provide support (for example, mental health provision). They also told us that they were continued to be worried about lack of suitable accommodation to support people to move-on and more broadly a lack of affordable housing options locally and concerns over landlords leaving the private rented sector.

We also asked people how their mental health and wellbeing had been impacted by working through the pandemic, a number of respondents felt their mental health had worsened over recent years citing workloads, impact of lockdowns and poor physical health. In better news, many of them told us that they had felt supported by their local authority and our report will detail some of this. What is clear from the surveys we have carried out is that there are some lessons to be learnt about how local authorities managed during the pandemic in relation to staff workloads, support for tenants and tackling homelessness. We hope now to be able to share those lessons in a way that means we can better coordinate our services against future shocks through the unique insights of housing professionals in local government.

Our second report to be published later this year will be delivered by Sustainable Collective, Severn Wye Energy Agency and Sero and examines the technical and behavioural solutions needed to meet the targets for the decarbonisation and fuel poverty reduction of the private rented sector (PRS) in Wales. As is already recognised, Wales has among the oldest and least efficient housing in Western Europe, with 32 per cent built before 1919, and just 6 per cent in the last 35 years when energy performance codes were introduced. Most older homes are solid walled and have single glazed windows and doors. While most now have central heating, a large share have older inefficient boilers, with outdated or limited controls.

Among the housing stock in Wales private rented housing represents 16 per cent and is the worst performing tenure. The PRS’s poor energy efficiency is partly explained by the ‘split incentive’ – where landlords don’t receive the cost and comfort benefits from energy efficiency investments. The report will look at the perceptions of landlords and tenants of what needs to be done, possible advice, finance, and delivery models; and the policy changes and market solutions needed at local, Welsh and UK government levels.

Tyfu Tai Cymru will be hosting webinars for the launch of both of these reports and would be really keen to hear reflections from people interested in our work, follow up at catherine.may@cih.org

Catherine May is Tyfu Tai Cymru manager

Sign up to our email newsletter

Every two months we'll email you a summary of the latest news & articles on the WHQ website. Better still, if you're a fully paid up magazine subscriber, you'll get access to the latest members-only articles as well.

Sign up for the email newsletter »

Looking to advertise in our magazine?

Advertising and sponsored features are a great way to raise your profile with our readership of housing and regeneration decision makers in Wales.

Find out more »