Magazine article Public Finance

Moves Urged to Solve Welsh Housing Crisis

Magazine article Public Finance

Moves Urged to Solve Welsh Housing Crisis

Article excerpt

Social landlords and local authority planners must step up their efforts to tackle the housing crisis facing rural Wales, says a new report.

Proposals put forward this week by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation include more private borrowing by housing associations and a purge on empty properties.

According to a commission set up by the foundation, the average house price in rural Wales is more than five times the average income. About 25,000 households are on council waiting lists in these areas. While 2,865 homes were built for social renting in rural authorities during the past ten years, 10,217 homes were lost through right to buy sales, says its report, published on June 4.

Last year, the Welsh Assembly pledged a further 6,500 affordable homes by 201 1, but the commission says they should be tailored to rural needs and a more constructive dialogue opened between planners and private developers. Where homes are sold to council tenants, conditions should be placed on their resale, and receipts invested in new housing.

Commission chair Derec Llwyd Morgan said communities in rural Wales risked losing the next generation of young people. …

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