Affordable Housing

I happened across this statistic the other day (click on the ‘planning’ tab) – the proportion of affordable housing per local authority in Wales. You’ll be fascinated to learn that in 2010-11 the proportion of affordable housing out of all units completed in Wales varied from 3% to 55%.

That means that one local authority – Newport – is ensuring that there are more affordable housing units being built than non-‘affordable’ units. It’s a staggering achievement, and can only be to the good for the population of Newport.

It also puts into perspective the recommendation I made back in April – that we should insist upon a minimum 50% affordable housing level for Penarth (and the Vale). I’m delighted to say that the Plaid Cornerswell candidates saw the sense in that proposal.  After all, the Vale Council conceded a pathetic 20% affordable tally in Penarth Heights. As I said at the time:

Let’s face it, the only reason that developments such as Penarth Heights shouldn’t be substantially more than 20% affordable is if you feel for the hard-pressed developers (profit in 2009 £47.3M and with headquarters in down-at-heel Surrey) and think that they should be extracting more profit at the expense of people in Penarth.

Newport’s success illustrates that the 50% level is the lower bound of where we should be heading.

So where does the Vale of Glamorgan come in the list of 22 local authorities in Wales, and what proportion of the new units in 2010-11 were affordable?

22nd. And 3%.

Shame on you, councillors and ex-councillors.

I’d be very grateful if anyone can point me in the direction of the elected representative ultimately accountable for fighting the corner for the lower earners in Penarth and the Vale. Whoever it was, from whichever party, deserves all of our opprobrium.

3 Sylw

Filed under Equality, Plaid Cymru, Vale of Glamorgan Council

3 responses to “Affordable Housing

  1. Hi David,
    I think you’re mistaken on this one. ‘Affordable housing’ is a term defined in planning policy as “housing where there are secure mechanisms in place to ensure that it is accessible to those who cannot afford market housing, both on first occupation and for subsequent occupiers”. http://wales.gov.uk/desh/publications/planning/technicaladvicenotes/tan2/tan2e.pdf?lang=en The definition includes social rented housing and ‘intermediate housing’, where rents are above social housing levels but below market prices.
    Incidentally, the Welsh Government’s latest policy on affordable housing is to build 7,500 additional units during this Assembly term http://wales.gov.uk/newsroom/housingandcommunity/2012/120621summit/?lang=en. If you look at the housing projections that are being forced on local authorities you’ll see that’s a very small proportion of the total.

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