- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Categories: Latest News, Press Releases
Welsh Government plans to build 357 smaller affordable homes across Wales, including an extra 35 in Swansea, have today received the backing of one local City AM.
Mike Hedges, AM for Swansea East, has today welcomed the £20million move to build more one and two bedroom properties which will enable some tenants affected by the ‘Bedroom Tax’ to downsize.
The proposals, which are part of the Welsh Government’s Smaller Properties Programme, were given the green light earlier today by Housing Minister Carl Sargeant in an attempt to help mitigate one of the effects of the UK Government’s welfare benefit changes.
In the Swansea area, it is estimated that around 3056 households are affected by the Bedroom Tax. Under the plans announced today, Swansea Council will receive around £1,756,057 from the Smaller Properties Grant Allocation to build an extra 35 properties.
Speaking on the plans, Swansea AM Mike Hedges said:
“Changes to the welfare benefits system are having an unprecedented effect in our neighbourhoods and communities, with thousands in Swansea facing the possibility of losing their family home.
“This has naturally led to an increase in demand for smaller bedroom houses and flats – something that we have not previously seen in Wales.
“Although the welfare system is a matter for the UK Government, I’m pleased that the Welsh Government are taking action where they can to help tackle the problems many social housing tenants now face thanks to the Bedroom Tax.”
Housing Minister Carl Sargeant said:
“The Welsh Government is hugely concerned that many already hard pressed households are facing hardship due the changes in welfare benefit rules brought in by the UK Government. Local authorities report that over 35,000 households in Wales are affected by the Bedroom Tax.
“Since the rules relating to housing benefit and size of household changed on 1 April this year, we have seen increased demand for smaller, one and two bedroom properties.
“Despite the tough financial climate, the Welsh Government has invested £20 million in the Smaller Properties Programme and each local authority has been asked to identify schemes which could benefit from the funding.
“I am determined to do what I can to support tenants so that there is the least possible damage to our communities, but recognise that these new homes are only a fraction of what is needed to counter the impact of the UK Government’s benefit changes.“