Investment in Affordable Homes
We need an overhaul of housing policy in Wales. The supply of new units of social housing remains lower than it was in the 1990s. This reflects successive governments’ lack of willingness to invest in new social housing.
We need to have substantially more affordable housing if we are not to deprive an entire generation of the reasonable expectation of having a decent home. We believe that the supply of more affordable housing should be met through a combination of bringing empty properties back into use, and new developments of mixed housing in the social and private sectors. However, we also want local needs and environmental sustainability to be taken into account.
We will create a National Housing Company which will borrow against rents to build a new generation of public rental housing in Wales limited in number only by demand. We will also support Local Authorities wishing to build new Council Housing. Local Authorities will be expected to agree targets for supplying affordable housing, including new social housing, with the Welsh Government, but will be given the flexibility to decide how they would achieve this based upon the needs of their area.
We will fund the development of new homes in small-scale housing developments in rural Wales on ‘exception sites’, whose land plots, not covered by general planning permission, will be capped at an affordable price designed to benefit those in local housing need with family and work ties to the area, and whose sale will be conditional on these houses continuing in local ownership in perpetuity.
Plaid Cymru has consistently opposed the Right to Buy scheme and we will take action to ensure the social housing stock remains intact in order to meet the demand for homes. We will introduce a more rigorous system in the allocation of social housing to give priority to those in local housing need. We will support the release of public land as self-build plots for affordable homes, to buy and to lease, and allow housing associations to build their own high-quality prefabricated homes.