Wales strikes housing supply pact for 10,000 homes
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government
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The Welsh government and Community Housing Cymru have launched a "Housing Supply Delivery" pact to deliver 10,000 affordable homes during this term of government.
The current government came into office in 2011 and elections are due in 2016.
The pact was launched earlier this week and sets out commitments for both the government and CHC, which represents housing associations in Wales.
While 60% of the Welsh government’s affordable housing target of 7,500 homes was reached in the first two years of this administration - the majority delivered by housing associations - the need for new homes still significantly exceeds supply.
The housing and regeneration minister, Carl Sargeant, has responded by increasing the target during this term of government to 10,000 additional affordable homes and has called on housing organisations to play their part.
The pact supports the delivery of the increased target, setting out commitments from the government and the housing association sector.
Sargeant said: "(The pact) demonstrates our commitment to work together to deliver on our ambitious target of providing 10,000 affordable homes during this term of government. Increasing the supply of homes in Wales is my top priority and I am committed to working with developers, housing associations, local authorities and financiers to bring forward innovative schemes that will increase the supply of good quality affordable homes."
CHC chief executive Nick Bennett said: "We warmly welcome the new pact approach and believe it reflects genuine partnership working...Housing associations continue to deliver and the more security for planning the Welsh government can give us, the more we can do."
The pact commits the government to: ensuring a sustainable rent policy is in place for the five-year period 2014-19; continuing to provide capital investment through social housing grant to build on the £82 million allocated in 2013/2014 and £58m confirmed for 2014/2015; working with the housing association sector to further innovate to deliver affordable homes building on the experience of the housing finance grant and the Welsh Housing Partnership; taking action to make publicly owned land available for housing.
The pact commits the housing association movement to: ensuring that all associations work in partnership with the Welsh government, local authorities and others to deliver the new affordable housing target of 10,000 homes for the period 2011-16 as well as maximise community benefits through investment and other opportunities; "striving for the highest standards of governance through implementation of a governance improvement agenda supported by a new code of governance for the sector and including a drive for gender balanced boards".