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Shelter Cymru feature – Homes for All Cymru

Finding common ground

Homes for All Cymru is an alliance of key housing and related organisations in Wales that aims to maximise the contribution housing makes to the health and wellbeing of communities

The group provides a united voice on a range of housing issues and has recently agreed a housing manifesto to illustrate the combined concerns of its members and how improvements can be made to help people in housing need.

The full manifesto is available on all the partners’ websites, but the key areas are outlined below.

Affordable and suitable homes

It is vital that we explore innovative ways to increase the supply of affordable homes and better utilise the existing stock, therefore a more sophisticated approach to local housing market assessments and supply development is needed.


More families are finding themselves in the private rented sector in Wales because of a lack of alternatives. In order to provide stability for families and neighbourhoods, greater security of tenure is needed as well as improved consumer rights and defences against retaliatory evictions.

Improved levels of enforcement need to be in place to ensure that conditions are improved and local authorities need to consider how they can work in partnership with third sector organisations to identify poor landlords and take action.

Private tenants also need greater access to legal advice to safeguard tenancies and should be supported in developing private tenants associations.

Housing conditions and health

Category 1 hazards are estimated to cost Wales more than £160 million a year in treatment costs, lost time from work etc. Access to secure, good quality housing is extremely important for the whole population’s physical and mental health and wellbeing, therefore a greater emphasis on jointly funding health and housing initiatives to address housing conditions should be explored.

Suitable housing for older people

Current policy and services are heavily weighted toward a crisis intervention approach. We need to develop a more coherent strategy and a proactive approach that informs, promotes, and facilitates greater housing choice in older age. To do this, we need to extend and improve the range of housing options and services.

Fuel poverty

We believe that the time has come to stop the 2,000-plus excess deaths every winter of older people in Wales because they cannot afford to heat their own homes.

Better use needs to be made of the significant schemes and funding that already exist to help alleviate fuel poverty, such as ARBED, ECO and NEST, and there must be greater emphasis on more difficult to reach groups and properties. There also needs to be better use of data on scheme activity to date, in order to understand where future effort most needs to be targeted.


The number of people experiencing and facing the trauma of homelessness is increasing. The Housing (Wales) Act 2014 sets an important new framework with an emphasis on prevention and partnership work. It is crucial that this new framework influences positively the culture of homelessness services, with a commitment to respect people’s points of view. In each case local authorities should strive to ensure that the household agrees with the identified course of action.

Poverty and equality

Investing in affordable and social housing is critical to supporting wider equality and anti-poverty agendas and the Welsh housing industry has pioneered the principle that public and housing investment programmes can deliver wider community benefits.

Housing organisations provide a range of additional functions for the communities in which they work, and we believe that they are critical to developing partnerships that implement innovative and proven methods to tackle the further marginalisation of diverse and disadvantaged groups.

Funding and budgets

Funding for housing and housing-related services should be safeguarded and increased to better reflect the preventative nature of work and outcomes delivered.  

There is a need for greater transparency of all publicly-funded grant streams, with clarity of purpose and much better cross-cutting understanding and working so that shared outcomes can be achieved more efficiently and cost-effectively across Welsh Government Directorates and other funding streams.

There is also a need for more flexible funding to allow planning over a longer period rather than being constrained by annual budgets.


Wales has an opportunity to maximise benefits for Welsh communities and business through a better constitutional settlement in both fiscal and democratic terms. We would welcome the opportunity to introduce further powers to vary taxation or where appropriate to devolve further purposeful powers to enable Wales to better respond to changing demands in housing.

Member organisations

  • Age Cymru
  • Care and Repair Cymru
  • Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru
  • Community Housing Cymru
  • Cymorth Cymru
  • Disability Wales
  • Home Builders Federation
  • Homeless Link Cymru
  • RNIB Cymru
  • Rough Sleepers Cymru
  • Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
  • Shelter Cymru
  • Tai Pawb
  • Tenant Participation Advisory Service Cymru (TPAS Cymru)
  • Welsh Local Government Association
  • Welsh Refugee Council
  • Welsh Tenants Federation
  • Welsh Womens Aid

For more information about Homes for All Cymru and the housing manifesto, visit sheltercymru.org.uk

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