New housing scheme boosts single bed living for North Wales Housing
Published by Paul Diggory for North Wales Housing Association in Housing
Paul Diggory, North Wales Housing Chief Executive
A growing need for single bedroom living accommodation, exacerbated further by the introduction of the so-called ‘Bedroom Tax’ last year, has helped spur on the development of a new nine-home scheme in Llandudno.
North Wales Housing has acquired a brownfield site on Bodhyfryd Road, in Llandudno, demolishing the existing unoccupied building and creating the new development of 9 one bedroom flats, named ‘The Stables’.
The 2013 Welfare Reform Act has meant that any person or persons under occupying their social housing home by one or more bedroom will have their weekly Housing Benefit entitlement reduced by 14% or 25%, adding to the already high demand for more one bedroom properties. Completion of ‘The Stables’ will help fulfil this growing need and a mix of single people and couples, some of whom need support to live independently, have been identified as tenants for the new homes.
The scheme has been developed to Sustainable Homes Code Level 3 with high levels of insulation, minimising energy consumption and reducing average energy bills.
Paul Diggory, Chief Executive at North Wales Housing said: “There is a clear demand for this type of property and whilst none of the tenants at the Stables have been re-housed due to the impact of the bedroom tax, we’re looking at a number of other sites across North Wales were we can re-develop or build similar properties.
“The allocation of our properties in line with bedroom tax criteria is still being managed but we are making progress and have seen a reduction in the overall number of tenants under-occupying from 309 cases in April to 268 today. Those still under-occupying represent just over 10% of our overall current tenants. We are working closely with them to ensure that they are aware of the options available to them and that they have the best chance possible in paying their weekly shortfall in rent.”
Paul added: “As a housing association, the under-occupation is having a detrimental effect in terms of our ability to let properties, particularly two bed flats above ground floor and three bedroom semi-detached properties. We are being left in a position where some properties are becoming more difficult to let, either due to the number of bedrooms or their location. It’s a difficult situation but one we are managing closely.”