29 Mar 2021

Time to re-balance affordable housing supply in Wales

The UK Housing Review 2021 has set out the stark nature of the challenges facing nations across the UK in meeting housing demand.

In Wales, whilst the original forecast aligns closely with actual performance the proportion of market to affordable housing delivered remains out of balance with the UKHR reflecting the need for an additional 1,000 affordable homes annually to meet the requirements.

Performance against the Welsh Government’s 20,000 affordable housing target remains strong despite the challenges posed to housing development during the pandemic. The review highlights that this performance has been significantly bolstered by the success of Help to Buy which at the end of 2020 had led to 8,503 purchases.

On addressing homelessness Wales has seen a small increase in the number of social homes being let to people experiencing homelessness (now at 24 per cent). The policy shift has been similar to that in Scotland during the pandemic where the focus on Housing First and rapid re-housing generally was a feature of policy before the COVID-19 crisis.

Matt Dicks  |  national director, CIH Cymru

The UK Housing Review shines a light on strong progress made in Wales in boosting the supply of affordable housing and on addressing and preventing homelessness, despite the conditions imposed by the pandemic. The Review confirms what has been an ongoing trend, that there’s an urgent need to re-balance the housing system through a significant shift towards focussing on social and affordable housing. We know that without this, our progress on addressing homelessness and meeting housing demand will taper in the coming years.

Notes to editors:

  • The UK Housing Review 2021 is authored by Mark Stephens, John Perry, Peter Williams, Gillian Young and Suzanne Fitzpatrick.
  • Financial support for the Review is provided by: Clarion, Crisis, Guinness Partnership, the Housing Studies Charitable Trust, London & Quadrant, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, the Scottish Government, Settle Group, The Housing Finance Corporation and the Welsh Government.
  • The UK Housing Review is available to purchase in PDF format from the CIH bookshop, price £35.
  • Previous years’ editions and material from UKHR 2021 are available at the UKHR website.