Opinion: Over 200 in two years but we still need more homes
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Development
Over 200 in two years but we still need more homes
By Paul Diggory, chief executive, North Wales Housing
It’s 40 years since North Wales Housing was established to build homes for older people and complement the work of local authorities.
As the organisation has grown it has evolved into a much more diverse social enterprise. But arguably the need for new homes is as great as it was back in 1974.
Current trends in tenure across the UK are likely to see owner-occupation and social housing declining while private renting increases. All political parties are starting to acknowledge there is a shortfall between supply and demand but remain divided on the means to achieve improvement.
I believe that housing warrants a higher priority at next year’s general election.
Our third extra care project will be completed in October this year, which will mean we’ll have delivered over 200 new homes in just two years. The Welsh Economic Research Unit has stated that for every full time job in the housing sector, nearly two other jobs are supported in the local economy.
Building new homes clearly stimulates the economy, creates new jobs and, just as important, sustains existing jobs. When demand for new homes is so high, how can housing not be a priority for any government?
What can people do to help? It’s about making politicians aware of the strength of feeling.
When you have candidates turning up at the door asking for your support, ask them what they’re planning to do about delivering more homes. Our young people are priced out of a home and living longer with parents, homelessness remains a huge problem, older people are living longer and need a decent home. A good home is fundamental to our quality of life.
With over 18% of the region’s population over 65 and set to increase significantly over the next 20 years, Cae Garnedd will bring 42 new homes for older people in Bangor, following on from the opening of Hafod y Parc in Abergele in April. Since then, there have been new family homes completed in Ruthin, Llanberis and Llanrug.
We’re working on regeneration projects in Rhyl, Colwyn Bay and Holyhead, all of which provide so much more than simply a home. This work has a wider social, economic and environmental impact.
I’m also looking forward to our first development in Wrexham when we start building 12 houses for families at Whitegates Road early in 2015.
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