Over three-quarters (77%) of people in Wales support a legal right to housing, a new poll by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Cymru has found.
The poll of 1,011 adults was commissioned by CIH Cymru in partnership with Cardiff University and carried out by Deltapoll.
It found that 77% of people agreed with the statement that ‘everyone should have a right to an adequate home’, while 40% strongly agreed.
The CIH has called for all political parties to commit to legislating for a right to housing in the next Senedd term ahead of next year’s Senedd elections.
Matt Dicks, national director of CIH Cymru, said: “The Welsh public are loud and clear in saying we should all have a right to a decent, affordable, safe place to call home.
“People are understandably worried about the COVID-19 pandemic, but with the outbreak having shone such a vivid light on the consequences of not being able to access a safe home, now is the time to act and use the momentum provided by this public endorsement to make real, lasting, impactful change.”
The polling data found that almost 20% of respondents identified housing as a key policy priority for the Welsh government, ahead of concerns such as crime, education and defence.
83% felt that the government should be responsible for providing housing to a decent standard, while 49% felt housing should be a bigger spending priority.
The poll revealed a positive shift in perception towards social housing as almost 47% of respondents said they would want to see more social housing built near them – up from a third in 2018 – while two thirds of respondents felt that their area needed more affordable housing.
However, the data highlighted that there is still a stigma around social housing, as respondents viewed it as less desirable than other types of housing, linking it with higher rates of crime and anti-social behaviour.
Alicja Zalesinska, director of the housing charity Tai Pawb, said: “This data shows overwhelming public support for the right to adequate housing which we simply cannot ignore.
“The people of Wales have spoken – this is clearly a sign of a growing public concern about homelessness, about the state of housing and its impact on our lives.”
Ruth Power, director of Shelter Cymru, added: “We believe, along with the vast majority of people in Wales, that a good home is essential for everyone. Bringing the right to a good home into Welsh law will drive future governments to prioritise, and invest in, the housing that people need.
“This will have positive knock-on effects for the health, employment, education and wellbeing of people and communities across Wales. We all have a shared interest in making this happen.”