There were questions to the Housing Minister in the Assembly yesterday.
As usual when questions about housing arise in the Assembly or in other government institution from Community Councils to the European Parliament, the term affordable housing was uttered.
Affordable Housing is a term that makes my skin crawl every time that I hear it. Mainly because affordable housing is always an add- on to every housing development proposed, rather than the core of the planning application.
Jocelyn Davies mentioned that Rural Development Enablers had ensured that a massive 110 affordable homes had been built in Wales as a result of their efforts last year – Wow!
A company wants to build 100 houses in Llanbethma 10% of which will be affordable. WTF?
I accept that some housing development has to be aspirational. When I win the £112 million Euro Lottery Jackpot on Friday, I would like to think that I can build my new mansion in my local community! So I don't want unaffordable housing to be excluded from the planning process; but why should any planning authority support a development where 90% of the proposed houses are designed to be unaffordable to the community in which they are to be built?
If a company sees the potential to build 100 houses in my village shouldn't the vast majority of those homes be affordable homes for those who want or need to live here, rather than be beyond the means of locals and their children?
Making 90% of those houses unaffordable to villagers, but affordable to commuters from Cheshire and Lancashire kills the village as a vibrant community and turns it into nothing more than a boring dormer community!
Local need and local affordability should be the driving force in housing policy!