David Rees AM welcomes affordable homes plan

David Rees AM has welcomed progress on ambitious Welsh Labour Government plans to build 20,000 affordable homes, during this Assembly term (2016 – 2021).   The plans formed a big part of Welsh Labour’s manifesto and are at the heart of a comprehensive housing agenda, following on from the building of 10,000 affordable homes during the last Assembly.

An update was given to Assembly Members by Carl Sargeant AM, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, which stressed the importance of building affordable homes saying that it “goes far further than simply putting a roof over people’s heads”. Alongside the well-documented health and education benefits that good quality housing provides for children and families, building homes of all tenures has a significant positive impact on the Welsh economy and on our communities.  House-building creates thousands of apprenticeships every year, provides wider regeneration in deprived areas and can transform communities.  He added that alongside the need to build new homes, it is important that Wales retains its existing social housing stock.

The Welsh Labour Government propose to abolish the Right to Buy and the Right to Acquire and work is already underway to prepare the necessary legislation.  This will enable Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council to retain safe, secure and affordable social housing.  The legislation will also enable housing associations and councils to invest with confidence in building new homes. Council housing will now be built across Wales for the first time in a generation.

The Minister also reaffirmed the target of an additional 20,000 affordable homes includes 6,000 which will be delivered through the Help to Buy Wales scheme. This reflects the success of that scheme in providing a route into more affordable home ownership, especially for first time buyers. It has played a huge role generating confidence within the housing sector and supporting private housing development.

David Rees AM said “This pledge is about providing much needed affordable housing for families and individuals across Wales.  Not only does it provide a stronger emphasis on ensuring people have the opportunity to put a roof over their family, there are huge benefits in house building for the Welsh economy and for the health and wellbeing of future generations.”

“I am delighted that the Welsh Government is also acting to secure Wales’ social housing stock. My post bag often contains contacts from residents who need social housing only to find that there is a great demand but limited housing stock available due to an inability to replace the many houses bought by tenants.”

“The ending of the right to buy will allow Welsh Councils to once again build council houses, safe in the knowledge that they will not be sold off.”