Cardiff launches affordable homes scheme to tackle housing crisis

Cardiff Council has agreed on a plan to create hundreds of affordable homes in a bid to tackle a shortage of housing in the city. 

200 temporary flats could be built at a former gasworks on Ferry Road in Grangetown, while vacant buildings containing 25 fully-furnished, one, two and three-bedroom flats, and a four-bedroom house, could be brought into council ownership. 

Recent reports show 8,000 people are currently on the council’s housing waiting list and 1,400 homeless families and individuals are living in temporary accommodation. 

The plans are part of a wider pilot scheme which could be introduced by the Welsh Government to other parts of Wales if successful. 

An architect working on a draft with a pencil and ruler

Cllr Lynda Thorne, the Cabinet member for housing and communities, said: ‘The housing issues we are seeing in Cardiff are part of a wider malaise affecting councils all over Wales and the UK. Here in Cardiff, the council is proud of its housing development programme which is seeing us deliver 4,000 new high-quality, energy-efficient homes across the city. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that we must take every opportunity we can to find immediate solutions. It takes time to plan and build homes so we are looking at ways in which we can make a difference now.

‘There’s currently a real lack of private, affordable rented accommodation in the city and housing association and council housing stock is already oversubscribed. In addition, the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) – the rate at which housing benefit can be paid – has not kept pace with market rents, creating another problem for families. Rents on two-bedroom properties, for example, are on average £200 a month more than the LHA rate rising to £450 a month on four-bedroom homes.’ 

There are also plans to build 500 permanent, affordable homes on the brownfield Gasworks site, including council houses. 

Before construction takes place on this, the council is looking at expanding the use of modular flats to house families in need of temporary housing. 

Currently, it already has 49 modular, de-mountable flats on the site, housing 29 families in energy-efficient flats.

The project has received backing from the Welsh Government, with funding covering around 50% of the costs, and the first units could be installed in as little as 15 weeks. 

Councillors believe the development could be completed by April next year, providing de-mountable accommodation with a lifespan of up to 60 years. 

Minister for Climate Change Julie James said: ‘We want everyone to have access to a good-quality and affordable home. I am pleased we can support Cardiff Council, which is offering a sustainable solution to the pressing challenge of providing affordable housing in the capital.

‘We are committed to building 20,000 new low carbon homes for rent in the social sector over this Senedd term. We will continue to work with local authorities and partners across Wales to bring forward innovative solutions to local housing pressures.’

Photo by Daniel McCullough


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