Propertymark backs call for right to adequate housing

Responding to Welsh Parliament’s Local Government and Housing Committee inquiry looking at how incorporating the right to adequate housing into Welsh law would work in practice, Propertymark stated that it must act fairly to agents and landlords as well as consider any unintended consequences on housing providers and the market.

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White Paper commitment

The Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru has committed the Welsh Government to publish a White Paper on proposals for introducing a right to adequate housing in Wales and would consider affordability, accessibility, habitability, location, and cultural adequacy.

The inquiry looks to identify any challenges and barriers to taking this policy forward and to consider the impact a right to adequate housing would make across Welsh housing policy.

Whilst Propertymark is very supportive of making the right a law, we stressed it should be seen as a long-term commitment. We used the consultation as an opportunity to also warn the committee of the impact heavy rent controls could have on supply within the Welsh PRS, the need to see landlords and letting agents as part of the solution in talking the housing crisis rather than the problem and called for an improved relationship between landlords, property agents and local authorities.

How the right to adequate housing can work in practice

To make the right practical, we recommended that the policy framework and process for housing policy has a cross-departmental and Ministerial approach. The strategic objective for implementing a right to adequate housing should be to secure active buy-in from all relevant government departments. When implementing policy the Welsh Government must consider, welfare, access to justice and the judiciary system, energy efficiency, economies such as wages, well-being, future generations, and equality.

Propertymark also called for an improved quality of data and research for all housing sectors and reaffirmed our call for a Welsh Housing Survey on similar grounds to that used in England.

Benefits of making the right of adequate housing law

While the initial cost would be huge and the Welsh Government would have to commit over £5 billion to areas such as raising housing standards, and ensuring people are in accessible and appropriate housing, independent research from Alma Economics states that the Welsh Government would save £11.5bn across a range of public policy areas.

Download the full consultation response