Welsh Labour today highlighted the party's pledge to invest £450m in new social and affordable housing over the next four years, to help build an additional 6,500 new affordable homes, and make it easier for people to get a foot on the housing ladder.
First Minister Rhodri Morgan and Social Justice Minister Edwina Hart were visiting the site of a new scheme to provide more than a hundred new affordable homes in Ammanford. The new homes will be sold to Carmarthenshire residents who are unable to afford to buy on the open market.
Welsh Labour's pledge of extra investment will be backed up by legislative action to retain the pool of housing available for rent in areas of high housing demand, along with plans to identify and make available publicly owned land for the development of low-cost housing.
First Minister Rhodri Morgan said:
"Welsh Labour's plans add up to a substantial programme of action to ensure that the pool of affordable housing is substantially increased. It builds on the Homebuy scheme which we have already introduced to help first-time buyers to get a foot on the housing ladder, and the new planning guidance we brought in during the last Assembly term to make it easier to build affordable housing."
"A Labour Assembly Government would want to see the kind of affordable housing scheme planned for Ammanford replicated across Wales."
Social Justice Minister Edwina Hart said:
"We know that there are particular problems for young and first-time buyers to get a foot on the housing ladder. Our extra investment will make a real difference. The cost of land is the key driver of house prices and our plan to make more publicly owned land available for housing will also help to increase the stock of affordable housing."
"Housing is crucial to community regeneration, that's why during the last Assembly term, Labour increased investment in the social housing grant by 64% and introduce a Welsh Housing Quality Standard to improve all social housing by 2012. As a party we are whole-heartedly committed to strong, vibrant communities."