The highly anticipated Welsh government-commissioned review of affordable housing supply has recently been published. The report, which was widely praised by the housing sector but was also taken to task to include a greater emphasis on the role of tenants in decision making, made a series of key recommendations including:
The provision of Local Housing Market Assessments (LHMA) based on consistent timetable, data and methodology across housing tenures.
Improving new home quality standards and homogenising standards across tenures and a push for “near zero” carbon homes using fabric first approaches by 2021. In support of that and other objectives to further trail or investigate MMC.
To implement a five-year rent policy from 2020-21 providing stability for tenants and landlords but with a focus on landlords to deliver (VfM) to justify rent increases.
Increased flexibilities for Councils and a lifting of the borrowing cap creates to support delivery of new affordable housing supply.
An arm’s length body should be established by the Government to act as a hub for public sector land management and professional services, we think this is a model along the lines of Homes England.
Reforms to grant funding to introduce a new flexible long term five-year Affordable Housing Partnerships model which combines grant funding certainty and flexibility whilst testing grant VfM to some extent mirroring the flexibilities of “wave” partners in England.
We would be very pleased to talk to our Welsh colleagues about our experience of working in Wave Partnerships and with Homes England as well as our extensive experience of MMC.