The Gwynedd Housing Partnership conference, held recently in Bangor, looked at ways of facing up to these challenges and how to do more with fewer resources.
Representatives from across the housing sector attended the conference, and issues surrounding the supply of houses, affordable homes, quality and suitability of the housing stock were addressed by the main speakers:
Peter Hughes – Chairman of the Council of Mortgage Lenders Wales
Nick Bennett – Chief Executive of Cartrefi Cymunedol Cymru
Keith Edwards – Chief Executive Chartered Institute for Housing Cymru
Wyn Roberts – Director of the Welsh Assembly Government’s North Wales Coast Regeneration Programme
Workshops were also held during the day where delegates had the opportunity to discuss matters such as opportunities for cooperation within the private housing sector, fuel poverty, carbon emissions and housing with support for elderly or disabled people.
Paul Diggory, Chair of the Housing Partnership, said: “Registered social landlords, communities and public service providers here in Gwynedd are feeling the effects of the international economic slow-down and we are seeing a definite shift in housing tenure, the way people are living as the golden age of home-ownership comes to an end.
As a partnership, we must also change to reflect this, for example by ensuring that there is plenty of good quality housing available for rent as well as to buy. We should be assisting owners to be aware of the possibilities of making better use of empty properties and work with owners to improve the quality of their homes, so as to save on utility bills and contribute to lowering carbon emissions at the same time.”
Councillor Trefor Edwards, Gwynedd Council’s Housing Portfolio holder, said: “The conference also set the stage to welcome opportunities in the coming months, such as the potential to develop apprenticeship and work opportunities and to make housing key to town centre regeneration.”