Former Archbishop of Wales, Bishop John Davies has welcomed a new alliance between housing associations and homelessness charity, Housing Justice Cymru.
It comes as Housing Justice Cymru announces its strategic partners for the next phase of the project’s expansion.
It is hoped this new partnership will greatly increase the number of affordable homes being built through the charity’s national project, ‘Faith in Affordable Housing’, which sees surplus church land and buildings transformed into genuinely affordable rented housing.
To date the programme has facilitated the delivery of almost 100 affordable homes across Wales.
Bishop John Davies said, “This is a great opportunity for churches and housing associations to work together to address one of the major social problems of our age. Everyone deserves a decent home that meets their needs, and we hope this next phase of the programme will produce more homes for the people most in the need.”
Housing Justice Cymru’s Faith in Affordable Housing Programme has facilitated the transformation of church-owned land into affordable housing since 2016.
Operating in collaboration with all Christian denominations, the programme has schemes across most of Wales and has previously worked with over 25 developing housing associations and local authorities.
In July 2020, a review of the project concluded that, in order to significantly increase the output of genuinely affordable homes, the programme “would need a more focused approach, working with a smaller number of selected housing associations.”
Bonnie Navarra, Director of Housing Justice Cymru said, “Following consultation with the social housing sector, the key message was that any process to identify future development partners should be transparent and fair.
“We want to work with the housing organisations who have the financial capacity and skills to build new housing but, importantly, who also share our values around helping those in need and addressing the housing crisis head on.”
The following organisations have been successful and will be the new development partners for Housing Justice Cymru’s affordable homes programme:
- Grwp Cynefin
- Adra (north Powys)
- Monmouth HA (south Powys)
- Pobl (Ceredigion)
South West Wales
- Pobl Group
South East Region
- Cardiff Community HA led Consortium, including Newydd, Valleys to Coast, Melin and First Choice.
- Monmouth Housing Association (Newport and Monmouth)
Specialist housing provision will be provided across Wales by First Choice HA.
Gareth Davies of Cardiff Community Housing Association and spokesperson for the consortium said: “We are delighted to be working with Housing Justice Cymru and believe that this new partnership will enable us to make a significant contribution of good quality, affordable homes in the South East region.”
In North Wales, Gwyndaf Williams of Grwp Cynefin said: “There is a housing crisis across North Wales and we are pleased to be working with another North Wales housing association, Adra, and Housing Justice Cymru to meet the very big challenges in this area, and especially those areas of housing stress where second homes have exasperated the housing problem.”