New estimates show that, on average, Wales needs between 6,700 and 9,700 additional housing units a year between 2018/19-2022/23.
The estimates, published by the Welsh Government, are based on two components – ‘newly arising need’ and ‘existing unmet need’.
Housing need has also been identified as a priority work stream for Wales by an independent panel undertaking the Review of Affordable Housing Supply.
The review is due to publish its recommendations in April, with the updated estimates of future housing need and demand being used alongside the findings of the Review to develop future housing policy and proposals.
Estimates of additional housing need gradually decrease over the following 15 years, reflecting a slowdown in the projected household growth in the 2014-based household projections – which are largely driven by population projections.
By the mid-2030s, the stats show estimates of up to 6,500 additional housing units will be required annually in Wales – with a central estimate of below 4,000.
A range of estimates are presented which capture the best available data with the proviso of ‘uncertainties’ where future projections are based on past trends.
The estimates have been produced independently by Welsh Government statisticians under the principles of the Code of Practice for Statistics and have been informed by a stakeholder group including representatives from Welsh local authorities and the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA).
Though presented at both a national and regional level, it is acknowledged there will be considerable variation within each region and within each local authority.
The 2018 estimates replace the previous estimates of housing need in Wales published by the Public Policy Institute for Wales (PPIW) in 2015.
These estimates will inform plans and strategies at a national and regional level across many policy areas, being central to the formulation of future housing and planning policy while informing areas such as the National Development Framework (NDF), which is due to be published in 2020.
Housing need also informs the assessments of local well-being required under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act.
With the estimates released, it is stressed that they are an indication of the overall need and demand for additional housing and not a housing target or forecast.
Methodology for determining local housing requirements, and the work undertaken by councils through Local Housing Market Assessments, will continue following the conclusion of the Review and as the new method of estimating future need beds in.
Community Housing Cymru (CHC) commissioned Beaufort Research for its latest socio-economic impact report, which shows that Welsh housing associations are projected to deliver more than 3,000 homes in 2018/19.
“Alongside the 4,400 homes delivered by housing associations over the last two years, this puts the sector well on to ensure that Welsh Government delivers its target to build 20,000 homes by 2021, as agreed in our affordable housing pact,” CHC chief executive Stuart Ropke said.
“Today’s report shows that there remains a significant challenge to deliver the homes Wales needs in the coming years.
“Housing associations have an ambition to deliver 75,000 homes by 2036, and with continued and consistent support from Welsh Government – we are confident we can make that ambition a reality,” said Ropke.
“With the Affordable Housing Review set to make recommendations to Housing and Local Government Minister in April, we have a unique opportunity to ensure the conditions are right to meet the challenge set out in today’s report, and deliver on a shared ambition of a Wales where good housing is a basic right for all,” he said.