29th June 2018

Housing Minister visits Waun Sterw as part of review

Housing and Regeneration Minister Rebecca Evans has announced an independent review of affordable housing supply in Wales, with a visit to newly built affordable houses and flats in Waun Sterw in Pontardawe.

The review will examine whether more can be done to increase the supply of affordable housing in Wales, maximising the resources available, and will be chaired by Lynn Pamment, Cardiff Senior Partner and Government & Public Services Lead at PwC.  Lynn has many years’ experience of providing financial advice to public and private sector bodies, including working with housing associations and others in the affordable housing sector.

Rebecca Evans said: “We have made a clear commitment to deliver 20,000 affordable homes during this term of Government and this development demonstrates how we are delivering on this. I want this review to ensure we are getting the best value for money in our investments and policy, including how we plan for a zero-carbon future and the way in which the sector operates.”

The site in Waun Sterw is being developed by Linc, Welsh Government Neath Port Talbot Council and J G Hale construction. The site will include 20 houses and will exhibit some of the innovative ideas Linc are keen to roll out across their developments.  The site is one of many that the housing association plans to develop, to contribute to the Welsh Government’s target of 20,000 affordable homes by 2020.

Linc CEO, Scott Sanders said: “An independent review of Housing Policy comes at the right time for the housing sector.  The ambition within the sector is palpable and having a policy that supports this and enables both RSL’s and partners to deliver more homes and services to make a real difference to people’s lives, would be welcomed. The sector will be keen to support the review to ensure this opportunity is maximised and results in even stronger housing solutions.”

The first home is due to be completed and residents moving in in the next few months.

Linc’s Development Director, Louise Attwood added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Welsh Government, Neath Port Talbot Council and local developer Hales to provide much needed affordable housing. We have used this scheme to test new edible planting schemes to help residents have easy access to fruit and veg on their door step. If successful we are going to roll this out across all our developments” 

The review of the housing policy will look at several aspects and will:

  • Examine the scope for increasing match funding to build more affordable homes, to maximise the number of homes created by the Welsh Government’s contribution to social housing;
  • Review the arrangements governing partnership working between local authorities and housing associations.;
  • Consider the implications of moving to deliver zero carbon homes by 2020, including the role of off-site manufacture and modern methods of construction.
  • Review the standards governing affordable housing and advise on whether they require updating;
  • Make recommendations regarding a sustainable rent policy that will both allow long term affordability for tenants and allow viability of existing and new housing developments

The review will be expected to issue a report and make recommendations to the Minister by the end of April 2019.

Rebecca Evans adds: “We know that many more people in Wales want to access affordable housing. The sector in Wales have called on us to look at our policy, and we want to work closely with all stakeholders involved in housing supply to ensure we are building as many homes as possible.”

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