Wales' social housing 'a long way' from achieving minimum standards

Row of terrace houses
The National Assembly for Wales Committee is now calling for an independent monitor to assess the state of Wales' social housing Photo: ITV News Wales

Some people in Wales are living in social housing that fails to meet minimum quality standards, according to a National Assembly for Wales Committee report.

The Welsh Housing Quality Standard, introduced by the Welsh Government in 2002, set out a ten-year target to ensure social housing across the country is:

  • in a good state of repair
  • safe and secure
  • adequately heated, fuel-efficient and well-insulated
  • contains up-to-date kitchens and bathrooms
  • well managed (for rented housing)
  • located in attractive and safe environments

It must also, as far as possible, suit the requirements of those living in it - for example, anyone with an impairment.

But the Committee found that Wales' social housing stock, estimated to be made up of approximately 221,000 homes in 2010, was "a long way" from achieving these standards.

This is despite the Welsh Government extending its deadline for achieving the minimum standards to March 2013.

The Committee said it was also concerned that some landlords' self-reported compliance with the Welsh Housing Quality Standard may not be "wholly reliable" as there is no independent body overseeing it.

It's now calling for an independent monitor to assess the state of Wales' social housing.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: "We will consider the report very carefully and respond in due course."