Welsh Government Minister brings climate focus to community led housing network

We are delighted that Julie James, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Climate Change, will be opening this month’s Wales Community-Led Housing Network on the 17th of June.

By Rhodri McDonagh · 23 June 2021

See this page in: Cymraeg

While Covid-19 has been at the forefront of everyone’s mind since the beginning of the crisis last year, two of the longstanding challenges facing Wales that will continue to dominate the agenda over the coming years will be housing and the climate crisis.

Housing will be a part of this new Ministry, which has the specific remit of responding to the climate crisis, and we will be taking this opportunity to focus specifically on how community-led and co-operative models of housing fit into this agenda. We’ll be asking the question – how can the community-led housing movement respond to the climate crisis?

The past year has shone a light and reminded all of us of the importance of living in a safe, comfortable environment, but also the vast inequality that exists in Wales in this respect. The Build Back Better agenda has seen people across Wales join together to demand that the society we rebuild after Covid-19 is more equal and more sustainable than before, and housing must play a key part in this.

As well as being joined by the Minister, we will also hear from Dylan McLellan and Peter Hughes from Nest, which provides funding for energy efficiency improvements to low-income households and those living in deprived communities across Wales. The funding from the scheme increases comfort and wellbeing and reduces energy bills, leaving people with more cash to spend on other urgent essentials. Following our work with the Welsh Government, we were delighted that Nest has recently extended its eligibility criteria to members of housing co-operatives.

We will also be joined by Alun Watkins from Optimised Retrofit, which sets the standard for retrofit schemes in Wales, who are exploring the possibility of extending its nationwide retrofit programme to housing co-operatives and other forms of community-led housing.

The Communities Creating Homes programme supports affordable community-led housing across Wales, helping to set up new housing co-operatives and other forms of community-led housing as well as supporting existing groups. We are passionate about the potential of housing co-operatives as an affordable housing solution, and as a means of delivering the Welsh Government’s manifesto pledges on affordable housing and decarbonisation.

This meeting will take place on the 17th of June, from 12-1:30pm, and will be a great opportunity for groups to find out how their members can benefit, whilst supporting action to reduce carbon emissions and increase well-being in Wales. If you are interested in the potential of co-operative and community-led models of housing in the context of the climate and housing crises in Wales, then this promises to be a fascinating meeting, and you can register here.