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THE Vale of Glamorgan faces an affordable housing crisis as more than 1,200 new homes are needed each year.

Over the past couple of years the number of families struggling to pay bills has shot up, leading to increased demand for affordable housing.

A growing backlog of demand is adding to the problem as too few new affordable homes have been built in the Vale, with the backlog three times as high as 2015.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, the Vale of Glamorgan saw the second highest growth in house prices in Wales between July 2020 and July 2021, with Conwy seeing the fastest growth. The average house price in the Vale grew by 24 per cent, from £237,026 to £293,916.

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A new report to Vale of Glamorgan council’s cabinet has outlined the scale of the housing shortage with shocking figures.

According to the cabinet report, each year the Vale needs 917 new homes for social rent, 79 for low-cost home ownership, and 211 intermediate rented homes.

The report said:

“Historically, only households in need of social rented accommodation were considered to be in housing need.

“However, the current economic climate – of increasing housing costs and the financial difficulties now faced by households being unable to afford their housing and living costs – has led to an increasing number of households being squeezed out of home ownership and the private rented sector.”

In recent years local demand has been growing much quicker than supply. In 2019, the Vale council received 5,986 applications for affordable housing, while last year it received 6,940 . In 2015, the backlog stood at 548, while last year it was 1,558.

Every council in Wales must regularly produce similar figures on the local need for affordable homes, called a local housing market assessment. This feeds into major policies like local development plans, which decide how many houses should be built and where. But these assessments aren’t perfect, the cabinet report warned, and demand could be even higher.

The report said:

“The headline net social housing need of 1,205 units per year is an under-estimation of the number of social rented properties needed in the county. The development of a local housing market assessment is often described as more of an art than a science.”

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