Unnos – Land and Housing Wales
Unnos – Land and Housing Wales will be a publicly owned company owned by and answerable to the Welsh Government, and accountable to the Senedd. A not-for-distributable profit company, Unnos will be self-sufficient through the charges it makes for its services and products.
At a time when interest rates are at an historic low, the rental streams from new social housing developments are increasingly attractive to long term investors such as pension funds. Operating through Unnos, a Plaid Cymru government will access funding from these long-term investors to finance a substantial and sustained increase in the provision of social and affordable housing in Wales, using the Welsh government’s covenant to further reduce interest rate costs where desirable.
- Be a centre of excellence for good construction practice in the housing sector, initially in respect of new build but also increasingly in other areas, such as retrofit and will be a source of advice and expertise to both housing associations and to Local Authorities wishing to expand their activities in the housing sector.
- Create Welsh supply chains and use local workforces and businesses, thereby supporting the local economy and existing Welsh house builders who have been squeezed out by the planning system’s bias towards large developers.
- Play a strategic role for land assembly and compulsory purchase, working in partnership with local authorities, housing associations and other partners, brokering across Welsh Government departments to bring land to market and property for residential conversions.
- Focus on off-site/Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) methods. It will be provided with the means to establish production facilities (by way of loan or grant from the Welsh Government) to produce housing units. A direct result will be an immediate improvement in the environmental quality of new social housing.
- Support local construction SMEs through a national framework contract for housing procurement. It will direct Government financial support to the sector, channelled through the Development Bank, at smaller developers with viable projects unable to raise mainstream private sector finance, capping developers profit and limiting support to genuinely affordable house prices.
- Liaise with Local Authorities and Housing Associations to develop a portfolio of housing types to meet their requirements and agree with them a pipeline of demand.
- Provide a maintenance service for the properties constructed so that there will be a seamless approach between production and maintenance.
- Have as part of its mission the construction of housing which uses the minimum amount of carbon, both in construction and in terms of energy usage.