Better data is needed to improve Welsh housing law say landlords. Housing policy in Wales is being made in a vacuum and a priority for the next Government must be to collect comprehensive data on housing in Wales as it is collected in England.
That’s the call being made today as the Residential Landlords Association Cymru publishes its manifesto for the Assembly Elections.
Whilst both England and Scotland publish annual housing surveys, no such report exists for Wales. This means that policy makers are left having to use data from the English Housing survey and a limited number of independent data resources to make housing policy in Wales.
The RLA Cymru argues that this is seriously hindering the quality of policy making and is calling for a Welsh Housing Survey to be a priority for the next Government to understand the size, standard of and satisfaction with the housing stock in Wales.
The RLA’s manifesto calls also on all political parties in Wales to rule out introducing any form of rent controls and for a commitment to make it a legal requirement to install smoke and heat sensors in private rented housing.
Commenting on the launch of the manifesto at Plaid Cymru’s Spring conference in Llanelli, Douglas Haig, the RLA’s Director and Vice Chairman for Wales said:
“Over recent years too much housing policy has been made without sufficient information about the extent of the problems facing the sector. It cannot be right that Wales has to rely so much on data from England.
“In the interests of good policy-making it is time for the next Government to follow Scotland and England and commit to establish a thorough, annual, Welsh Housing Survey.”
Mr Haig continued:
“As elections to the Assembly hots up, the provision of housing will clearly be an important priority.
“Whilst the private rental market stands ready to play its part in ensuring everyone in Wales can access a safe, legal and secure property, any hint of rent controls would only choke off the supply of such housing.
“All evidence shows that rent controls have a devastating effect on housing and tenants and we call on all parties to rule out any plans for their introduction in Wales.”
– The RLA represents 40,000 private sector residential landlords in England and Wales.
– Further information about the RLA in Wales can be found at http://www.rla.wales/ or by following it on twitter @RLAWales.
– The RLA Cymru’s Manifesto for the Welsh Assembly Elections can be accessed here