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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 JRF study 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, in particular the extension of the Local Housing Allowance rate of housing benefit to the social rented sector. This will challenge the current provision of social rented housing for those on low incomes – Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent have both been identified as amongst the twenty UK local authorities worst affected by this reform[i].

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.

Find out more from the project brief here and keep up-to-date by signing up to our free e-newsletter.

[i] Beatty, C. et al (2016) ‘The uneven impact of welfare reform’. Sheffield: Centre for Economic and Social Research.



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