PLAID Cymru Senedd Election candidate for Caerphilly, Delyth Jewell, has today set out her party’s pledge to launch “the biggest public house building programme for fifty years” to help the thousands of households currently on housing waiting lists across Wales.
Delyth Jewell said that if elected on May 6 a Plaid Cymru government would build or convert 50,000 public homes over the next five years – 30,000 council houses or other social housing, 5,000 cost-rental homes at intermediate rent, and 15,000 genuinely affordable homes to buy.
The Plaid Cymru candidate for Caerphilly said that the pandemic had “shone a light” on the fact that the need for everyone in Wales to have a safe and secure home was currently going unmet.
She also committed to ending no-fault evictions and implementing a new system of fair rents for the future, saying that it is “shameful that 41% and 48% of renters in private and social housing respectively live in poverty”.
A new fair rents system will give local authorities the power to set a Living Rent rule for the private rented sector which will cap rent in rental pressure zones at a maximum of one-third of local average income. A similar model will apply in the social rented sector, ending the current freedom for housing associations to raise rent above inflation.
Delyth Jewell said:
“The pandemic has shone a light on the fact that not everyone in Wales has a safe and secure place to call home. This is unacceptable.
“That is why a Plaid Cymru government would undertake the biggest public house building programme for fifty years to help the 67,000 households currently on housing waiting lists across Wales.
“This would be a five-year project including a combination of council houses or social housing, and genuinely affordable homes to buy.
“The programme will also commit to bringing some of the 26,000 empty homes and flats above shops across Wales back into use.
“It is a scandal that whilst these homes lay empty, around 11,500 households were recorded as being homeless in 2018-19.
“It is shameful that 41% and 48% of renters in private and social housing respectively live in poverty, which is why we need a new system of fair rents for the future.
“A Plaid Cymru government would be committed to going further than any Labour government before us, tackling the housing crisis once and for all and working towards our goal of securing a home for everyone in our nation.”