Wefan Gymraeg

Welsh Government must do better in tackling housing crisis - Peter Black

The Welsh Liberal Democrats Housing Spokesperson, Peter Black has said that the Welsh Government must do better after the number of social housing units in Wales increased by just 267 in the last financial year.

The Welsh Housing Minister has set a target of 7,500 new affordable homes by 2016 and has claimed to be on-track to meet that number, however Mr. Black believes that a much higher proportion of these new properties must be for rent in the social sector so as to meet demand. On these figures, he says that the Welsh Government is well short of what is needed.

"Although affordable homes can mean many things, the reality is that there are nearly 90,000 people on housing waiting lists in Wales for social housing to rent," said Mr. Black. "There is also a mismatch in terms of the size of property needed by families and those that are available. In these circumstances an increase in the number of social housing units of 267 in a year, is woefully inadequate.

"There is some hope from the £20 million of capital that has been made available following the receipt of consequentials from the recent UK budget statement and which the Welsh Government is going to use to build more one and two bedroom homes. I am also optimistic that the deal brokered with the Welsh Government by Danny Alexander to come out of the housing revenue subsidy system, and which will make £33 million available to those eleven councils that still hold council housing stock, will see more homes built.

"However, unless there is a significant improvement in the current financial year and many more social housing units are built, then the Welsh Government will struggle to meet their own target and waiting lists will continue to grow."

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