The Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Housing and Local Government, Peter Black has called on the government to include a statutory duty in the Housing (Wales) Bill for its own Ministers to set termly targets for the supply of new affordable homes.
Mr. Black has tabled an amendment for consideration by the Assembly when it debates the general principles of the Housing (Wales) Bill on Tuesday. He believes that the haphazard approach to targets, including the definition of what is and is not an affordable home can be cleared up with a statutory duty.
"The first time a target was set for new affordable homes was in the last Assembly," said Mr. Black, "when Ministers sought to build an additional 6,000 during their four year tenure. However, they struggled to meet that target and there were questions that still persist today, as to what should and should not be included in the definition. For example, people who had benefitted from the mortgage rescue scheme so that their home was not repossessed were included, when clearly that is not a new property available to others at an affordable price."
"The present Government set a target of 7,500 new affordable homes at the beginning of its term and has since revised this to 10,000. It is my view that this is good practice that should be made compulsory for all future Ministers. I would like to see a target set after each Assembly election, with a duty to review it and report on it annually. I believe that needs to be enshrined in law."