Social housing provider Adra is planning to invest £198m to build more than 1,200 new homes across north Wales.
By working with partners to fund the construction of the new homes, Adra aims to tackle the housing crisis and soften the impact of COVID-19 in the region.
Adra’s board has committed to the development programme for the next five years, with all tenures considered – including social rent.
Housing sales on the open market will also be part of the development programme through the association’s development subsidiary, Medra.
Adra says profits made through this initiative will be reinvested back into the Adra Group, with the charity’s development funds strengthened by Gift Aid contributions that will help support and regenerate communities.
As part of the development programme, Adra will target grant funding from the Welsh government in view of its commitment to deliver 20,000 affordable homes across Wales by 2021.
With 9,000 people on the social housing register in north Wales, Adra’s growth plans are aligned with the Welsh government’s Well-Being of Future Generations Act.
Adra says its growth plans will provide a boost for local young people through creating job opportunities and driving sustainability by addressing the need for affordable homes across north Wales.
The social landlord is also working with the Welsh government, local authorities, and the Health Board to focus on the need for accommodation for doctors, nurses, and other key workers in the wake of the pandemic and recruitment issues facing the sector.
Adra’s development strategy includes a commitment to support the Welsh language and providing affordable homes for local people priced out of the market, with prices inflated by the scale of second homes across north Wales.
The delivery of the development programme will support local SMEs, Adra says, with a focus on building a strong local supply chain that will generate expenditure locally.
‘Desperate need’ for affordable homes
Iwan Trefor Jones is deputy chief executive of Adra and is overseeing the development programme and asset management of the social landlord.
He said: “We are proud of the development programme which enables Adra to take the lead working with our wide range of partners to deliver new affordable homes.
“We are taking a proactive and positive approach to supporting rural and urban communities, where there’s a huge demand and desperate need for local affordable homes.
“It is of massive concern to us that an average of 60% of households in Gwynedd, for example, are priced out of the housing market.
“Our new development programme aims to ensure that new affordable housing will be available for young, local people and families.
“We are looking to collaborate further with the private and public sector to deliver partnership opportunities, using innovative approaches to development funding as well as joint ventures.”
Gwynedd councillor and Housing cabinet member Craig ab Iago added: “The lack of housing options for local people is one of the main challenges in Gwynedd today, and I hope that Adra’s growth will make a difference.
“I’m eager to see many of these houses built in Gwynedd to create a sustainable future for our communities and to respond to the major housing need for local people as well as providing opportunities and jobs locally.
“It’s essential that Gwynedd Council and Adra work in a close partnership to ensure fairness to local people, and I look forward to continuing with this partnership.
“I see value in developing and building these houses, but also welcome Adra’s commitment and priority to their current tenants in Gwynedd.
“I am confident that this will continue.”
Board member and tenant Lynn Rowlands said: “It is great news for residents that Adra is continuing to invest in our communities across north Wales, taking the lead to support sustainable growth which will benefit our existing and new customers.
“This development programme will in-turn enable Adra to generate further income to support our social objectives to fund new affordable homes.”
Adra is a registered social landlord created in 2010 via the large-scale voluntary stock transfer from Gwynedd Council, and it now owns and manages around 6,300 homes across north Wales.
Since then, Adra has invested more than £150m upgrading current stock and building new homes.
Image: Some of Adra’s new-build homes in North Wales
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