The Welsh Government has been urged to ring-fence new social housing funding in order to increase Wales’ supply of affordable homes.
David Melding AM – the Shadow Secretary for Housing – made the calls in response to today’s announcement of an extra £2 billion for social housing by the UK Government.
Under the plan, housing associations, councils and other organisations will be able to bid for the money to spend on new projects, starting from 2022.
Responding to the announcement, the Welsh Conservative AM said:
“Social housing is clearly a huge priority for the UK Government, and this additional funding will go some way to ending the stigma surrounding it.
“What’s even more encouraging is that Wales will now get a chunk of additional funding as a Barnett consequential, and so it is the Welsh Governments responsibility to ensure that the extra money goes towards increasing Wales’ stock of affordable housing.
“The social housing supply in Wales is quite frankly dire, and this leaves the Welsh Government with no excuses for not committing the funding specifically to that area.
“I think it’s only right that the Welsh Government commits to this ring-fencing, and I will be writing to the Minister to request it.
“We need to get this right. The planning for extra social housebuilding from 2022 needs to start now because of the long lead in time”.
- The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland receive grants from the UK Government, which fund the majority of their spending. The Barnett formula determines how the largest of these grants – the block grants – change from one year to the next.
- The devolved administrations can spend the Barnett-formula determined block grant as they wish. If block grants increase because housing spending has increased in England, the devolved administrations do not have to spend the additional money on housing.