The Welsh social housing provider Adra has announced plans to invest £198 million to build over 1,200 new ‘affordable’ homes across North Wales.
Adra says its five-year development programme will lead to the construction of homes of various tenures including social rent, affordable rent and shared ownership, helping to tackle the housing crisis and COVID-19’s impact across Wales.
The social landlord will also produce homes for sale on the open market through its subsidiary Medra. Profits from these homes will be reinvested back into Adra to help it support and regenerate local communities.
Adra will target grant funding from the Welsh government to back the programme, which aims to support the devolved government’s commitment to deliver 20,000 affordable homes across Wales by 2021.
Adra’s deputy chief executive Iwan Trefor Jones, who will oversee the development programme, said: “We are proud of the development programme which enables Adra to take the lead working with our wide range of partners to deliver new affordable homes.
“We are taking a proactive and positive approach to supporting rural and urban communities, where there’s a huge demand and desperate need for local affordable homes.
“It is of massive concern to us that an average of 60% of households in Gwynedd for example are priced out of the housing market. Our new development programme aims to ensure that new affordable housing will be available for young, local people and families.
“We are looking to collaborate further with the private and public sector to deliver partnership opportunities, using innovative approaches to development funding as well as joint ventures.”
Adra’s new 1,200-home target marks a step change for the housing association, which delivered over 220 new homes as part of its previous development programme.
Adra’s growth plans are aligned with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, which requires public bodies in Wales to make decisions that improve Wales’ social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing.
Affordable housing is a problem in North Wales, where 9,000 people are on the social housing register. Prices for homes are often higher in the region due to its high number of second homes.
The housing association says its development programme will create affordable homes for key workers and job opportunities for young people and SMEs across North Wales, focused on a strong local supply chain. It also includes a commitment to support the Welsh language.
Cllr Craig ab Iago, housing cabinet member on Gwynedd Council, commented: “The lack of housing options for local people is one of the main challenges in Gwynedd today and I hope that Adra’s growth will make a difference.
“I’m eager to see many of these houses built in Gwynedd to create a sustainable future for our communities and to respond to the major housing need for local people as well as providing opportunities and jobs locally.”
Adra owns and manages 6,300 homes in North Wales and was created in 2010 as part of a stock transfer from Gwynedd Council. Since then, it has invested over £150 million into upgrading current stock and building new homes.