Shadow Housing Minister Mark Isherwood AM has spoken of the need for the Welsh Government to work with Housing Associations to maximise the supply of housing and help tackle the housing supply crisis in Wales.
Mr Isherwood raised the matter when questioning the Housing Minister in the Assembly Chamber this week on the Code of Governance the Minister is developing with Community Housing Cymru (CHC), the representative body for housing associations and community mutuals in Wales.
He said: “To what extent will the Code of Governance that you referred to, being developed by you and Community Housing Cymru, impact on the Housing Pact for Supply with Community Housing Cymru, and to what extent, under the Code, is the Welsh Government willing to give Housing Associations in Wales the same freedom as those available to Housing Associations in England and Scotland to manage increased levels of risk?”
The Minister replied: “We are in discussion with CHC and interested stakeholders in terms of what that Pact will consist of. I am very flexible on my approach to risk-based assessment. We have changed the way that that is operating, and there is still a little bit of improvement to go. However, it works both ways. There is an expectation that I will release risk in terms of giving autonomy to RSLs in the way that they operate, providing that they can show to me that there is good governance in place. Good governance means equity across board membership, not just male-dominated boards.”
Mr Isherwood added: “Where gender imbalance exists in the make up of boards, positive action is required to equip people of both genders and all backgrounds with the skills required. However, my question focused on the need for the Minister to work with Housing Associations to maximise the supply of housing and help tackle the housing supply crisis in Wales created by the Labour Welsh Government.”