Wales 'needs 75,000 more social homes in next 20 years'

Social housing being built at Ely Mills in Cardiff
Image caption Social housing is being built at Ely Mills in Cardiff

About 75,000 new homes for social housing should be built in Wales in the next 20 years, according to Welsh housing associations.

The Welsh Government wants to build 20,000 affordable homes by 2021 but the body representing social landlords said that should be doubled.

"We do know we're not building enough," said Community Housing Cymru (CHC) chief executive Stuart Ropke.

The Welsh Government said it recognised the need for more affordable housing.

Housing associations are already planning to build 13,000 affordable homes in Wales by 2021.

But launching its 20-year vision of housing associations in Wales, CHC members said more needed to be built to keep up with population demand.

"It [13,000 homes] is a good step forward but now we want to go much further," said Mr Ropke.

He added: "Our members have told us they want to build 75,000 new homes in the next 20 years."

"We want to build all of those new homes by 2020 to near zero carbon standard and refurbish our existing stock by 2036 to that same standard."

Image caption Community Housing Cymru (CHC) chief executive Stuart Ropke says demand is outstripping supply

A report commissioned by CHC said 4,200 new homes were needed a year in the social sector in Wales to meet the demand of a 4.3% population increase.

"The new target is a doubling of the current rate of build, but what we do know is that we are not currently building enough," said Mr Ropke.

"The demographic pattern suggests that the population will grow quite rapidly in the next 20 years and that will be concentrated in certain areas, like Cardiff.

"It is important we do build homes where people want to live and where there are jobs, focusing on where the population is growing the quickest."

The Welsh Government said it welcomed the commitment from registered social landlords to continue building homes in significant numbers.

A spokesman said: "We recognise there is a need for more affordable housing in Wales. This is why we have committed to an ambitious target of providing an additional 20,000 affordable homes during this term of government and are working closely with local authorities, housing associations and the private sector to achieve this".

He added the government was also legislating to abolish the Right to Buy scheme to protect social housing stock numbers in Wales dwindling further.

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