Tai Pawb welcomes publication of new affordable housing standard

Welsh Government has this week published its new standard for affordable housing in Wales.

The Welsh Development Quality Requirements 2021 (WDQR21) – ‘Creating Beautiful Homes & Places’ – aims to “set a bold new standard for new affordable homes” and “promotes low carbon designs”. The standard will be introduced from 1 October 2021.

Throughout its development stage – including working groups and during the formal consultation period – Tai Pawb was pleased to offer advice and expertise to Welsh Government across a range of equality-related issues on the new standard.

We particularly welcome:

  • elements of WDQR which recognise the growing climate emergency, including scrapping the use of fossil fuels and energy efficiency measures
  • the continuous inclusion of the Lifetime Homes standard, demonstrating a commitment to accessibility for some disabled people and other groups
  • a commitment to have one standard for private and social housing in the near future – we would urge that Lifetime Homes is included in the new standard

Our response made a strong case for the retention of the Lifetime Homes standard, while recognising it may need reviewing to ensure it still meets the needs of the population (as suggested by some of our members). Moreover, we championed the need to increase the accessible nature of all homes – irrespective of their tenure – alongside clearer expectations in terms of wheelchair accessibility.

Director of Tai Pawb, Alicja Zalesinska, added:

“The launch of the new standard demonstrates a strong and ongoing commitment to creating homes in Wales that are fit for purpose. Tai Pawb is pleased that Lifetime Homes remains an integral part of the standard moving forward and will continue to work with Welsh Government and other partners to raise awareness of the need for more and better accessible housing.”