What is social housing and why do we all need more of it?

Social homes have affordable rents and are fitted out to high-quality Welsh housing standards. They provide people with affordable and secure homes for life.

Social housing provides long-term homes that enable people to settle. Whatever your situation in life, whether you’re a key worker, an older person, a young family, or a person living alone – social housing can provide stability and help you to put down roots.

Currently Wales is facing a housing emergency. This means that the cost of renting privately or buying a house has increased to the point that many people are paying large proportions of their income on housing costs.

This means that in every council area in Wales, there are long lists of people who have applied for social housing and are waiting for a home to become available.

With so many people struggling to find a good home, it is vital that the Welsh Government takes action and builds the  homes  people are queuing up for . That’s why we are campaigning for more social homes to be built in communities across Wales.

Why social housing?

It’s affordable

Because  rent levels are set by the Welsh Government, and social landlords can’t raise the rent above these levels. This means that social housing is protected from so-called ‘gentrification’, when housing in a local area becomes so expensive that key workers and first-time buyers are priced out.

It’s good quality

The Welsh Government has set a target for all social homes to meet the Welsh Housing Quality Standard. The Standard says that all homes should be in a good state of repair, safe, secure, warm and fuel efficient. Where possible homes should meet the needs of the household living there could take that out. Currently 93% of social homes in Wales meet the Standard.

It’s for everyone

There are 67,000 households on housing waiting lists in Wales. Because we don’t have enough social housing, people who really need a secure social home sometimes can’t get one. This means that people end up trapped in unaffordable private rented accommodation or in homelessness.

Social housing should be there for everyone who needs it: families, young people, older people, private renters who need more affordable and secure housing, and people who have experienced homelessness.

It’s stable

People in social housing usually have a more secure form of tenancy, meaning that as long as they abide by their tenancy agreement they will have a long-term home – often a tenancy for life, which could be inherited by their children or other successor.

By contrast, tenancies in privately rented housing are normally for only six or 12 months, and the landlord has the right to evict without having to give a reason – a so-called ‘no fault eviction’.

This is why many people would rather have the stability and security of knowing they have a home for as long as they need it.

Apply for social housing

Applying for social housing can be difficult and confusing.

Look at our advice on how to apply for your own council or social home.

Demand that the Welsh Government
builds more social housing