In an Assembly debate today (Wednesday), the Welsh Labour-led Government will be urged to recognise that the housing crisis is “above party politics” and needs cross-party solutions.
The debate, to be led by Shadow Housing Minister David Melding AM, asks all parties to “recognise that the number of homes being built in Wales is inadequate to meet demand” and will call on the Welsh Government to “acknowledge the need to build at least 100,000 homes between 2021-2031”.
He will argue that the “shortage of social housing is feeding through to a homelessness situation which is unacceptable in a modern society” and that the housing crisis was also the “biggest peril” facing aspirational home-owners, denying them the opportunities enjoyed by previous generations.
In the debate, the Welsh Conservatives will also draw attention to the average house price in Wales, which is now roughly six times the average earnings due to the shortage of homes.
This comes following last month’s housebuilding figures that revealed both housing starts and completions in Wales had fallen by 15% in the year to September 2017.
In December, the Welsh Conservatives launched their Housing Strategy, Housing a Nation, which set a target of building 12,000 each year during the next assembly term, and 100,000 homes over a decade.
In the same month, David Melding AM called on the Welsh Government to scrap Land Transaction Tax for first-time buyers on properties up to £250,000.
Mr Melding said:
“The housing crisis is the most pressing public policy issue that we are facing as an Assembly, and for too long it has become a political tennis ball for parties to hit back and forth.
“The Welsh Conservatives stand ready to work with the Welsh Government to deliver the change Wales needs. Our new housing strategy shows us making the first move, providing ambition and getting the debate started.
“Today we will urge the First Minister to use this new year as an opportunity to build the consensus Wales needs on housing. End the petty politicking, and let’s all work together to meet Wales’ housing challenges.”