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Pobl to be part of national project to increase the supply of affordable homes in Wales

Housing Justice Cymru’s affordable housing project announces its strategic partners for the next phase of the project’s nationwide expansion.

In response to the housing need crisis in Wales, former Archbishop of Wales, Bishop John Davies has welcomed a new alliance between housing associations and homelessness charity, Housing Justice Cymru. It is hoped that this new partnership will greatly increase the number of affordable homes being built through the charity’s national project, ‘Faith in Affordable Housing’, which sees surplus church land and buildings transformed into genuinely affordable rented housing. To date the programme has facilitated the delivery of almost 100 affordable homes across Wales.

“This is a great opportunity for churches and housing associations to work together to address one of the major social problems of our age. Everyone deserves a decent home that meets their needs, and we hope this next phase of the programme will produce more homes for the people most in the need.” Bishop John Davies

Housing Justice Cymru’s Faith in Affordable Housing Programme has facilitated the transformation of church-owned land into affordable housing since 2016. Operating in collaboration with all Christian denominations, the programme has schemes across most of Wales and has previously worked with over 25 developing housing associations, including Pobl Group, and local authorities. In July 2020, a review of the project concluded that, in order to significantly increase the output of genuinely affordable homes, the programme would need a more focused approach, working with a smaller number of selected housing associations

Every housing association and stock-owning local authority in Wales was invited to apply for the programme. Eight housing associations of varying sizes applied, along with a consortium bid from a further five organisations. Housing Justice Cymru then conducted a lengthy and comprehensive evaluation process. To help with the process, Bishop John Davies, Chair of Housing Justice Cymru, established an Expert Panel, bringing together experts from Welsh government (national and local), the housing and heritage sectors, and church groups.

We are delighted that Pobl Group has been successful in being appointed the new development partners for Mid Wales and South West Wales, and look forward to continuing to contribute to the development of high-quality affordable homes and vibrant communities in partnership with Housing Justice Cymru.

“Following consultation with the social housing sector, the key message was that any process to identify future development partners should be transparent and fair. We want to work with the housing organisations who have the financial capacity and skills to build new housing but, importantly, who also share our values around helping those in need and addressing the housing crisis head on.” Bonnie Navarra, Director of Housing Justice Cymru

The photos below show an example from the programme, St Matthew’s Church in Newport: Before it was a disused, empty church, and now, it is quality, affordable rented housing.