02 Dec 2020

Three-quarters support legal right to housing in Wales

More than three-quarters (77%) of people in Wales support a legal right to housing, according to a new poll from CIH Cymru.

The poll of 1,011 adults aged 18 and over, commissioned by CIH Cymru in partnership with  Professor Roger Awan-Scully of Cardiff University and carried out by Deltapoll asked:

“Whether they agreed or disagreed with the single statement that “Everyone should have the legal right to an adequate home

Some 77 percent agreed with the statement, with 40 percent agreeing strongly.

Matt Dicks  |  national director, CIH Cymru

The Welsh public are loud and clear in saying we should all have a right to a decent, affordable, safe place to call home. People are understandably worried about the Covid-19 pandemic, but with the outbreak having shone such a vivid light on the consequences of not being able to access a safe home, now is the time to act and use the momentum provided by this public endorsement to make real, lasting, impactful change. So today, we reiterate our own manifesto call, ahead of next year’s Senedd elections, for all political parties in Wales to commit to legislating for a right to housing in the next Senedd term.

The polling data also found that:

  • Housing is identified as a key policy priority for government in Wales by almost 20% of respondents – ahead of perennial concerns such as crime, education and defence
  • 83% felt it was the Government’s responsibility to provide housing to a decent standard for all
  • Almost half 49% - felt that there should be more balance in public spending priorities with housing perhaps getting a more equal share of Senedd funding pot
  • Focussing on perceptions of housing, almost half, 47 per cent would want to see more social housing built near them, which represents a positive shift in views from the previous poll conducted in 2018 where only a third of respondents felt this way.
  • Two thirds of respondents also felt that more affordable housing was needed in their local area.
  • Sadly, the data also highlighted that negative views towards social housing persist, being seen as linked with higher rates of crime and anti-social behaviour and as a less desirable form of housing – that’s why CIH Cymru have called for the next Welsh Government to commit to a strategy to end the stigma surrounding social housing 

CIH Cymru has, along with partners Tai Pawb and Shelter Cymru, have been campaigning for more than 18 months for the incorporation of a Right to Adequate Housing in Welsh Law. On October 8 the three organisations published a draft bill that would achieve that aim.

The Welsh Conservatives, Plaid Cymru and Welsh Liberal Democrats have said that they intend to  include in their manifestos, ahead of next May’s Senedd Elections, a commitment to legislate for a Right to Adequate Housing, in some form, in the next Senedd Term.

Full report 

Alicja Zalesinska  |  director, Tai Pawb

This data shows overwhelming public support for the right to adequate housing which we simply cannot ignore. The people of Wales have spoken – this is clearly a sign of a growing public concern about homelessness, about the state of housing and its impact on our lives. Since we launched our report over a year ago, we have been calling for a fundamental shift in housing by making it a human right in Wales – the people of Wales have made that shift and it is time for politicians to follow.

Ruth Power  |  director, Shelter Cymru

Every day we work with people who are dealing with the trauma of homelessness. They are at the sharp end of the lack of secure, affordable, good quality homes that affects people across Wales. We believe, along with the vast majority of people in Wales, that a good home is essential for everyone. Bringing the right to a good home into Welsh law will drive future governments to prioritise, and invest in, the housing that people need. This will have positive knock-on effects for the health, employment, education and wellbeing of people and communities across Wales. We all have a shared interest in making this happen

Notes for editors

  1. The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards. Our goal is simple – to provide housing professionals with the advice, support and knowledge they need to be brilliant. CIH is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. This means that the money we make is put back into the organisation and funds the activities we carry out to support the housing sector. We have a diverse membership of people who work in both the public and private sectors, in 20 countries on five continents across the world. Further information is available at: www.cih.org
  2. Opinion surveys were commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) to be run in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The content of those surveys was designed in extensive consultation with officers from CIH in the respective nations, and with the commissioned survey agency Deltapoll. The surveys were carried out via the internet between 24-29 September 2020. The sample in Wales was of 1,011 adults aged eighteen and over; the sample was weighted to be representative of the adult population within Wales.
  3. For additional comments, interview arrangements or case studies please contact 07827 805131 or email us