21 Dec 2020

Transformational change to delivering social housing signaled in draft budget

The Welsh Government has outlined its spending priorities across all public services in its draft budget the 2021-2022 period. Contained within the budget are a number of investments impacting the work of the housing sector in Wales. These include:

  • An additional £37m investment in social housing – taking the whole investment for 2021-22 to £200m
  • A new phase of Help to Buy to be supported with £74m
  • Support for leaseholders of £32m to address building safety issues
  • An extra £40m investment in housing support grant aimed at activities to end homelessness
  • An additional £20m to invest in measures that reduce fuel poverty
  • £5m to support town centre regeneration, including repurposing commercial buildings as homes

Investment in social housing has been buoyed by the Welsh Government’s tax-raising powers where the Minister for Finance has allocated £13m towards social housing (included in the overall figure of £37m) by increasing Land Transaction Tax by 1 percent for residential dwellings and by 50 percent for non-residential dwellings.

Capital support for local authorities has also been maintained at a level of £198m, ensuring that local authorities are able to continue their focus on housing, decarbonisation and economic recovery.

Matt Dicks  |  national director, CIH Cymru

A focus on ‘building’ in today’s draft Welsh Government budget for 2021-2022 is strongly welcome in what we recognise as a budget full of difficult decisions. Additional investment in social housing, ending homelessness and the environment will in practice help deliver the homes Wales sorely needs to ensure that everyone has access to a safe, affordable and accessible place to call home. The housing crisis existed long before Covid-19. Whilst the pandemic has brought into sharp focus the impact of both having and not having access to an adequate home, we must ensure that the momentum that will be created by the investments outlined today act as a starting point for supporting the sector over the course of the coming years.