The Welsh government has unveiled plans to create 20,000 new low-carbon homes for rent within the social housing sector.
Emphasising its commitment to both social housing and sustainability, the government says it will deliver the new homes by the end of the current term.
The plans were revealed by Julie James, minister for Climate Change, who said: “The case for investing in social housing is as strong as it has ever been.
“This is why social housing remains a key priority for this government, and it is why we have set out the challenging commitment to deliver 20,000 new low-carbon homes for rent within the social sector during this government term.”
The 20,000 target – which will be defined within the recognised TAN2 affordable housing definition – will focus exclusively on homes rented out by social landlords.
It will only include social homes for rent, intermediate homes for rent, and shared ownership schemes.
James added: “I want to make it clear that this should be a priority we, as Senedd Members, all support and should all be working towards.
“For now more than ever, we can appreciate what it means to have a safe, secure roof over our heads and somewhere to call home.”
‘Test the ability of the sector’
CIH Cymru said the announcement was “strongly welcome”.
Commenting on the plans, Matt Dicks, national director of CIH Cymru, said: “We strongly welcome a focus on protecting the environment and off-setting the negative impact of climate change on our communities and the lives of future generations.
“The 20,000 low-carbon social housing target is ambitious and will test the ability of the sector to deliver at that scale; and makes it even more important to scale-up innovation, grow supply chains, and develop the right skills in the workforce.
“Our Back Housing 2021 manifesto made the case for a workforce strategy, and we see this as being even more vital given the emphasis within the programme for government on building homes and places that are based around sustainable principles and have a minimal impact on the environment.”
Dicks added: “What must be forthcoming is a clear commitment from the Welsh government on the funding available to underpin this activity across both social and private housing tenures, given that many organisations are already grappling with the challenges of decarbonising existing homes.
“We look forward to engaging proactively and positively on the work outlined as details become increasingly available using our own robust evidence base and the insight of our members to make sure the positive impact of the housing-related activity is well realised in practice.”
Image: Matthew Dixon/Shutterstock
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