Following the publication of the Welsh Government’s White Paper on Housing last month, which includes the target of an additional 7,500 affordable homes during this term of government, the summit provided an opportunity for representatives of the housing sector to discuss the latest developments within housing finance and to explore financial models that will help to achieve the government’s ambitions.
Among the models discussed were several innovative schemes, including the social enterprise set up by the Welsh Government and the Principality Building Society to develop the Ely Bridge site in Cardiff and deliver 700 new homes and the Welsh Housing Partnership which recently received a boost through a £6m Welsh Government contribution that will lever in a total of £30m and will help to deliver 280 homes for intermediate rent.
Speaking at the meeting, Housing, Regeneration and Heritage Minister Huw Lewis said,
“The White Paper emphasises the Welsh Government’s commitment to affordable housing in Wales. It is a very ambitious document and we will only achieve our aims if the whole housing sector works together so I am very pleased to have the opportunity to discuss these issues today.
The current economic situation and the UK government’s fiscal policies mean we must to more with less. We already have examples of new funding models with the Welsh Housing Partnership and Ely Bridge but we must continue to build on these, not only through providing funding but encouraging more associations and other partners to be innovative."
Finance Minister Jane Hutt said,
“We published the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan in May which showed our commitment to growth and jobs and in particular our high level commitment to invest in housing.
“With the tools and powers we have, we are determined to do what we can – in partnership – to develop policies that stimulate and strengthen the economy and concentrate our resources on key priorities such as housing.”