Housing and Local Government Minister Julie James will accept all but one of the recommendations from the Independent Review on Affordable Housing Supply, and has written to planning authorities across Wales to emphasise that local development plans must support sites made up of at least 50% affordable housing.
In an Oral Statement to the Assembly today, she will say:
- the five year rent policy will be announced before the summer Assembly recess
- a new approach to grant funding for housing associations and local authorities is needed and the Welsh Government will work with local authorities and housing associations to develop this
- ambitious local authorities will be able to access housing grant to build more council houses at pace and scale
- the Welsh Government is considering establishing a body to support how best to use of public sector land to create more housing
- all housing irrespective of tenure must have the same quality standards such as space and energy efficiency
- the housing sector will be consulted on a new strategy to expand the use of off-site manufacturing and modern methods of construction to deliver near zero-carbon homes.
Julie James said:
I am clear that our significant investment in affordable housing must be used as effectively as possible, where it is needed most. This is why I am taking action based on the review recommendations.
I am also writing to all local authorities to ensure they are taking all opportunities to create housing developments with at least 50% affordable housing in Wales. With the removal of the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap, and support from Welsh Government to build affordable housing, I want them to ensure this is a key part of reviewing their Local Development Plans.
The Minister will respond to the remaining recommendation from the Independent Review on Affordable Housing Supply on Help to Buy in the autumn.