Creating new affordable homes
We will launch the biggest public house building programme for fifty years. We will build or convert 50,000 public homes over the next five years – 30,000 council houses or other social housing, 5,000 cost-rental homes at intermediate rent, and 15,000 genuinely affordable homes to buy.
These will include some of the 26,000 empty homes, and empty flats above shops, across Wales that will be brought back into use.
There are 67,000 households currently on housing waiting lists across Wales while 11,500 households presented as homeless in 2018-19.
Our aim is for publicly built housing to become a mainstream option for those on average incomes – not just those on low incomes.
Our aim is to make it affordable again for young people in all parts of Wales to buy their own home. Our definition of affordable homes will mirror the mortgage lending rule of 4.5 times the average local household income or around £125,000.
To keep costs down we will develop a public leasehold model where the land on which an affordable purchase home stands will never be sold but leased to the homeowner indefinitely at no or low cost, removing a significant element from the purchase price of the property.
We will replace the complex system of Section 106 agreements with a single uniform community infrastructure levy, with local authorities and the Welsh Government acting together to pool public and private funds for major housing schemes and local infrastructure delivery.
Arfor and Cymoedd, our two new regional development agencies, will explore using New Town Development Corporation powers to develop new planned communities at scale in the rural north and west and in the Heads of the Valleys. We will use our investment in new railway corridors and transport hubs as a platform for new housing development.
A Plaid Cymru Government will:
- Reform the planning system to prevent the creation of poor-quality private sector new builds that fail to provide affordable housing. Instead, we will replace the flawed Local Development Plan framework with a more controlled planning system that will create mixed communities of both social and private housing well supported by public services and the necessary infrastructure.
- Legislate so that housing developments will be required to contain at least 50 per cent genuinely affordable housing, delivered in a community setting.
- Legislate to provide the Welsh Government with wide ranging housing powers to enable it to acquire land (on a compulsory basis if necessary) and provide housing, both directly and in conjunction with Local Authorities and Housing Associations and the private sector, to enable housing provision to be made on a coordinated basis.
- We will restore to local authorities a central role of meeting local housing need in a variety of ways, depending on local circumstances. They will be able to use a new entity Unnos – Land and Housing Wales to build more social housing. In addition, they will be empowered to bring empty properties back into use and purchase private sector homes from landlords exiting the market to expand council and other social housing.
- We will support a range of innovative models for developing affordable housing including small housing co-operatives and the charitable bond model using financial transactions monies as pioneered by the Scottish Government.