Creating the right infrastructure for future generations

Housing forms the cornerstone of the well-being of individuals, families and communities. The buildings we live in may still exist in a 100 years or more, and so the decisions we make today will also have a big impact on the well-being of future generations.

Welsh Government, local authorities and registered social landlords are committing themselves to extensive house building to address issues of housing shortage. Through shared staff with Constructing Excellence in Wales and also with United Welsh housing, the Commissioner’s initial focus has been to identify where she can have the biggest impact – supporting the shift towards a low-carbon green economy and better-quality work through developing Welsh enterprises and a supply chain that can deliver future-fit housing.

In November 2017, the Commissioner submitted a response to the National Assembly for Wales Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee’s consultation on low-carbon housing, drawing on the expertise of organisations including Community Housing Cymru, Community Energy Wales, Rounded Developments, the Design Commission for Wales, Melin Homes, WWF Cymru, One Planet Developments and SPECIFIC (Swansea University). She suggested the following preliminary criteria for housing that is ‘fit for the future’:

–  Adaptability

–  Net positive environmental impact

–  Protection from future challenges

–  Community well-being

–  Green economy

Affordable Housing Review

We are also seeking to influence the Affordable Housing Review commissioned by the Deputy Minister for Housing and Regeneration, Hannah Blythyn AM.

Housing Innovation Grant

We are also influencing the requirements of the Welsh Government Housing Innovation Grant – a £90million grant to bring a change to housing in Wales. The Commissioner wants to ensure that opportunities to contribute to all of the seven well-being goals are an intrinsic part of these programmes.