New Partnership Formed To Make Renting Affordable Homes In Wales One Step Easier

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People in Wales will now have broader access to rented houses across Wales as four housing associations join forces to deliver affordable homes through a pilot project with support from the Welsh Government and Principality Building Society.

the Welsh Housing Partnership aims to buy around 150 homes to rent during its first year

People in Wales will now have broader access to rented houses across Wales as four housing associations join forces to deliver affordable homes through a pilot project with support from the Welsh Government and Principality Building Society. This exciting and innovative venture sees Coastal Group, Hendre Group, Seren Group and Cymdeithas Tai Clwyd work together to buy affordable homes for people to rent under one banner, the Welsh Housing Partnership*. These housing associations based at Cardiff, Newport, Swansea and Denbigh in north Wales have a combined turnover of £100million and manage nearly 18,000 homes.

The aim of the new project, the Welsh Housing Partnership, is to increase the supply of quality affordable homes to families who can’t afford to buy their own homes. The Partnership will offer long term quality rental packages to tenants keen to rent one of these affordable homes in north or south Wales.

Ian Williams, Chair of the Welsh Housing Partnership Board explains: “In this pilot scheme, supported by the Welsh Government and Principality Building Society, the Welsh Housing Partnership aims to buy around 150 homes to rent during its first year, predominantly two bedroom houses. We believe that by working together and sharing our extensive experience in housing, we can deliver quality affordable rented houses to people living in south and north Wales. We hope to build on a great foundation that will see more and more people living in quality rented accommodation across Wales.”

20 year old Charlotte Awcock, an Insurance Underwriter for a company in Cardiff is the Welsh Housing Partnership’s first tenant. Born and bred in Newport, Charlotte is delighted that she has been successful in obtaining a quality rented affordable home in Orchard Gardens, Newport. The timing of the tenancy is especially momentous as she is expecting her first child in a few months time and the modern two bedroomed mid-terrace house will be ideally suited to her.

“I’m absolutely delighted with the new house and I consider myself very lucky to be the first tenant of this scheme. A few weeks ago, I was living in a top floor flat, and was not looking forward to climbing up the stairs with a newborn baby in a pram. After 3 years on the affordable housing register I am thrilled to be settling down in this lovely estate, and setting up home for me and, my soon to be, first born child.”

Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, Huw Lewis said: “I’m pleased that the Welsh Government has been able to support the establishment of the Welsh Housing Partnership which will help increase the supply of homes available to people across Wales, with around 150 homes available in the first year of the scheme. This marks the culmination of many months hard work to bring forward a new and innovative way of delivering quality, affordable housing, a key priority for the Welsh Government.”

The £16million project has been financed through a combination of £3million of Welsh Government grant funding, a £12million loan from Principality Building Society’s Commercial Division (http://www.principality.co.uk/en/Commercial.aspx) and £1million of equity finance from the investors in the Welsh Housing Partnership.

Head of Principality Commercial, Peter Hughes, said: “The Welsh Housing Partnership represents a unique and collaborative solution that moves Wales closer to the development of a credible institutional rental model. It is clear that the Welsh housing market has experienced a structural shift with home ownership declining in Wales and increasing numbers of families electing to rent.

“This ‘Made in Wales’ solution will ensure that Welsh families, currently struggling to step on to the housing ladder, can rent homes from the partnership safe in the knowledge that their rents will be affordable whilst having the confidence their homes will be well maintained. The Society is proud to be supporting such an initiative having worked tirelessly with all of the various stakeholders here since the advent of the credit crunch – furthermore we believe that this model can be scaled upwards in time to deliver more wide ranging solutions to help the welsh housing agenda.”

Anyone interested in contacting the Welsh Housing Partnership for further information, visit http://www.welshhousingpartnership.co.uk

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