Wednesday, June 04, 2008

From "Y Doc" to Afffordable Homes

Well the Victoria Dock development has not yet delivered any affordable homes, although some form of off site provision is mentioned whenever questions are asked of gwynedd Council. This is of interest as the Joseph Rowntree foundation today published reserach on affordable homes in rural Wales. As someone engaged in town planning to earn my daily crust I found much of the report familiar, and am not really persuaded by those of the recommendations that lead us to yet more research and evidence gathering.
Property prices are beyond incomes, the existing property owners benefit and the social concience it seems is not yet big enough to show enough care for those unable to enter the market. The billions might impact on tax rates - a windfalll tax for affordable homes ? (noting that as government prepares for a development levy the market takes a nasty turn).
The focus is best placed on proactive steps to increase supply, and building a concensus for more capital to build more homes. The recommendation which caught my eye however was the need for a "seismic upward shift in affordable housing provision" which takes us to the whole debate about the adequacy of house building rates in recent years and is a challenge to the prevailing culture of recent years whic has at times been anti-development.

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