Laura Sharman 19 June 2018

Housing delivery should be considered in council mergers, warns report

The merger of local authorities in Wales should not have any ‘unintended consequences’ on the delivery of affordable homes, CIH Cymru has warned.

The housing charity has published new research into the impact proposed council mergers could have on housing delivery in Wales.

Weighing the options found most respondents felt the mergers were dominated by political disagreements, with 50% highlighting concerns about losing touch with local needs and accountability.

It called on the Welsh Government to ensure mergers do not affect the target of delivering 20,000 affordable homes, and for assembly members and local authority councillors to engage proactively with housing departments.

It also wants a review into the impact of a merger that brings together those authorities who still manage and develop their own homes and those who do not.

‘Our report shows how important it is that housing professionals working within local authorities have a clear voice in shaping how the proposed changes could impact housing delivery in their area,’ said Tyfu Tai Cymru manager Catherine May.

‘Whilst there are clearly fears over how the proposals could work in practice there are also some great ideas about how to improve the delivery of the housing function. It is vital that Welsh Government ministers take swift action to have an open dialogue with housing professionals and ensure their expertise and insight play a positive role as discussions progress.’

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