Welsh Government Launches PRS Leasing Scheme
Public sector tenants in Wales should be given the opportunity to agree long-term tenancies on properties leased from the private rental sector following the announcement of new government scheme. The news comes in addition to a previous commitment from the Welsh government to build 20,000 affordable homes for rent in the next five years.
These two developments will help provide the rental homes that are desperately needed in the country while also providing landlords with guaranteed rent for a set period. This solution benefits both tenants and landlords and combined with housebuilding commitments, will help ensure tenants in Wales will be able to afford good quality homes, now and in the future.
Five-Years of Funding for PRS Scheme
As the Welsh government works towards its goal of ending homelessness, its newest scheme has set aside £30 million of funding over a five-year period. The funding will be used to lease PRS housing over the long-term for social tenants, with an added incentive of additional funding to improve or modernise the rental housing, where required. This means that local governments in Wales can offer PRS landlords a guaranteed rental income over a 5-20-year period with an additional payment to make improvements to their property.
The scheme has something to satisfy both landlords and tenants; a guaranteed income and extra funding for property improvements for the landlords while tenants can have some security from the knowledge they can live in the same property for up to 20 years.
A Dual Approach
While encouraging more PRS landlords to rent their properties on a long-term basis to the social sector is a positive step in ensuring more homes are available for those who need them, this isn’t the Welsh government’s only measure. In fact, it follows an earlier announcement where 20,000 new homes for rent will be built across the country.
Some £250 million has initially been set aside for the project which promises the homes will be low carbon, green constructions that will be affordable rental properties. There are also plans that some of the properties will produce more energy than they use.
“We are building at scale to address the supply and demand imbalance, homelessness, the growing second homes crisis, and the climate emergency,” said Julie James, Welsh Minister for Climate Change who is responsible for housing. “We are building high quality homes to make a difference to people’s quality of living. And we are ensuring the decisions we make today are the right ones for our future generations.”
Indeed, by creating a two-pronged approach to making more affordable rental housing available across Wales, the country’s government is showing it has taken time and put a great deal of thought into how to ensure more homes are available for those who need them at an affordable level of rent. It’s also important to note that by involving the PRS and providing landlords with incentives, that the rise in social rental homes will be sustainable and benefit tenants for the long term.