Minister calls for views on way forward in housing


Huw Lewis, Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage will this evening call for ideas to help meet people’s housing needs.

In a speech at Swansea University, the Minister will launch a document called ‘Meeting the Housing Challenge – building consensus for action’, which will open up a debate on the key housing issues and challenges which will face us over the next five years.

Huw Lewis said,

“A decent home is a vital part of everyone’s life. It affects everything including health and well being, our children's education, the ability to hold down a job, the strength of our communities. The Welsh Government understands this and is committed to ensuring everyone has access to a decent home. But there are some big challenges facing us and they are not going to be easy to solve.

“We are determined to make a difference and I am looking at things we can do, including new laws and other action, but it is not down to the Government alone. Meeting people's housing needs depends on the joint efforts of the Welsh Government, local authorities, housing associations, banks and building societies, industry representatives, charities and voluntary organisations.

“The good news is that there are already plenty of ideas and possibilities.  For example, tightening up on bad landlords, finding better ways to tackle homelessness, bringing empty properties back into use, and using Government land for more homes, to name but a few. Our recent announcement of £5million programme to reduce the number of empty homes across Wales shows that we are serous in our ambitions.  Our new powers give us the opportunity to do even more things for the better.
“I feel a debate is needed about what's important and there are some big questions to be answered, which is why I am launching this consultation today. I look forward to hearing your views.”
All views will be taken into account in the development of a Housing White Paper next spring. The closing date for this consultation is Friday 17 February 2012