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The Future of Housing for those on Low Incomes in the Valleys

July 20th 2017

Communities in the south Wales valleys face many opportunities and challenges over the next 10 years. A new study supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation seeks to understand how these changes will affect the housing options for those on low incomes, and identify what Welsh Government and local stakeholders can do.

 

Population change, economic trends and policy developments such as City Deals and the Valleys Taskforce have potential to alter the balance of supply and demand for housing in the Valleys.  Ongoing welfare reforms also present significant challenges, although it is no longer planned to extend the Local Housing Allowance rate of housing benefit to the social rented sector.  All these changes raise major issues for the provision of social rented housing for those on low incomes.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is working with the Bevan Foundation and other local stakeholders on a study which will set out the likely impacts on the housing markets in the Valleys over the coming 10 years. A further stage of policy development, involving local stakeholders and residents, will lay out policy options that can shape and respond to change, with a view to ensuring an effective housing offer.

The research

The study will consist of two distinct phases.

  • Phase one will establish the baseline for what is likely to happen to the housing markets in the Valleys, particularly the supply of housing for people on lower incomes over the next 10 years.
  • Phase two will focus on identifying potential solutions to the challenges facing housing provision for households on low incomes. This will be done by identifying realistic housing options and framing broader changes that may be required.

The team

A team led by Ian Wilson of the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University has been appointed to conduct the research.

The study will be supported by a Project Advisory Group chaired by Victoria Winckler, Director of the Bevan Foundation, with representation from Welsh Government, Community Housing Cymru, local housing associations, charities and councils.

The findings

The research is now complete.  A summary is available here and the full report is on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation website.

We will now be working with JRF and stakeholders to persuade the Welsh Government and others to take action.

 

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