Archive for the ‘housing’ Category
Housing is firmly back in the spotlight this week, with two major events covering issues that are relevant to property rentals and key policy developments in Wales. What’s more, our Housing Co-operative Project Manager, Dave Palmer, is speaking at both of them!
First up is the Welsh Tenants Annual Conference, taking place in Llandrindod Wells, on Wednesday and Thursday. This year’s event is titled ‘It’s Good to Rent’ and brings together tenants from all sectors, from throughout Wales, to talk about the issues that matter to them.
They will be joined by speakers who will be talking on a range of issues, including money advice, loan sharks, reforming the Private Rented Sector and welfare reform. Dave Palmer will be talking about the latest developments in co-operative housing, alongside Ben Hodge who’s the Co-operative Housing Co-ordinator for Cadwyn Housing. Together, they will be talking about the recent history of co-op housing in Wales, with 26 schemes now at varying levels of development around Wales. This includes the Home Farm Village Housing Co-op in Cardiff, which is being developed by Cadwyn, with Welsh Government funding and support from the Wales Co-operative Centre.
Dave also spoke at last year’s conference. Now, he’s able to relay feedback from some of the tenants who have formed the Home Farm Co-operative and who are ready to move into their rented properties, once available. One tenant has told us:
“I feel housing co-operatives would be beneficial everywhere, as I feel this would lower anti-social behaviour in and around communities, as when you know each other, people should have respect for others belongings. I also like the fact that we have a say in what happens to us as a whole and watch our new homes being built.”
Once Dave has spoken at this event on Thursday morning, he will be hot-footing it to Cardiff for ‘The Big Question’, an event being hosted by the Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru. According to the event website, “The BIG Question is CIH Cymru’s high-level housing policy symposium. By attending you’ll be placing yourself at the centre of debate on legislative change and hear from some of housing’s most influential figures.”
From the Wales Co-operative Centre’s perspective, we have a particular interest in the different methods of delivery for affordable housing. To that end, Dave Palmer is featured in an afternoon plenary session alongside Sioned Hughes of Community Housing Cymru, who will be looking at the wider social housing landscape, and Clare Budden of Flintshire County Council, who will be talking about housing in relation to local regeneration
Dave will once again be raising awareness of the role the Wales Co-operative Centre has taken in delivering affordable forms of housing, through co-operative solutions. This could also include the Centre’s work on digital and financial inclusion and how work in those areas benefits tenants and housing providers alike.
For more information on co-operative housing in Wales, head to the dedicated area of our website.
The Wales Co-operative Centre runs a number of projects that promote financial inclusion and that provide advice on money management. These projects are a key part of the Centre’s role in developing and implementing solutions to strengthen communities and promote inclusion in Wales. Jo Lovell, who manages one of these financial inclusion projects, blogs about a recent announcement on the Robust Trialling of the Local Support Services Frameworks that will support claimants through the transition from the current benefit system to Universal Credit.
Last week saw the Minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Freud, announce a series of new trials to help claimants get ready for Universal Credit along with the 11 partnerships that have successfully bid to deliver this local support. It is really encouraging to see that two of the 11 sites are in Wales; Blaenau Gwent and Carmarthenshire County Councils.
‘The trials will be partnerships between jobcentres and local authorities across Great Britain, who will be supported by third sector organisations, voluntary groups and social landlords. Each trial will be different, focussing on local need. They will look at the best way to prepare claimants for the world of work, by helping them with online access and digital support and managing their finances on a monthly basis.’
Universal Credit will by replace 6 different benefits and tax credits with a single monthly household payment. It includes support for the costs of housing, children and childcare, as well as support for disabled people and carers. Concerns have been raised since the first mention of Universal Credit by tenants, and both support and housing providers. Many of whom feel that people will struggle due to their lack of financial capability and digital exclusion.
At the Wales Co-operative Centre we are really pleased to be one of the third sector organisations supporting Blaenau Gwent, in this key piece of work that will help to shape the final framework in 2015. It is an exciting opportunity that will see financial and digital inclusion brought together.
Over the last few months, the Tackling Homelessness through Financial Inclusion (THFI) project has worked with Blaenau Gwent to assist them in mapping the local support services, that will be essential for supporting residents through forthcoming changes to their benefits, as well as delivering financial inclusion awareness sessions to front line workers in the borough. The Wales Co-operative Centre is delighted to continue working in partnership with the Council in this exciting new phase of preparing for welfare reform.
Mae heddiw yn nodi man cychwyn ymgyrch a gynhelir gan Ganolfan Cydweithredol Cymru ar gyfer Pythefnos Gydweithredol (21 Mehefin – 5 Gorffennaf) sy’n dangos cryfder ac amrywiaeth busnesau cydweithredol yng Nghymru.
Trwy gyfres o bostiadau blog, mae’r ymgyrch ‘Arloeswyr Modern’ yn amlygu maint a mathau’r mentrau cydweithredol yng Nghymru a’r sectorau lle y gweithredant. Mae wedi’i hysbrydoli gan Arloeswyr Rochdale, grŵp sydd ymhlith cyndeidiau’r mudiad cydweithredol.
Rydym wedi gweithio gyda 14 o bobl sydd wrth wraidd eu busnesau eu hunain, er mwyn egluro sut deimlad yw bod yn rhan o’r mudiad cydweithredol, pam aethant ati i ymuno yn y lle cyntaf a sut y gwelan nhw rôl mentrau cydweithredol yn economi Cymru. Rydym hefyd wedi rhoi cynnig ar ail-greu’r ddelwedd enwog wreiddiol o Arloeswyr Rochdale trwy gyfres o sesiynau tynnu lluniau ledled Cymru, gan ychwanegu’r cyffyrddiadau olaf, hudolus trwy Photoshop.
Ffurfiwyd y Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers yn 1844 gan grŵp o 28 o bobl, a thua hanner ohonynt yn wehyddion. Wrth i fecaneiddio’r Chwyldro Diwydiannol orfodi rhagor o weithwyr medrus i dlodi, penderfynodd y crefftwyr hyn ddod at ei gilydd er mwyn agor eu siop eu hunain, yn gwerthu bwyd na allent fforddio prynu fel arall. Gan gofio’r gwersi a ddysgwyd o gynigion aflwyddiannus y gorffennol i gydweithredu, cynllunion nhw Egwyddorion Rochdale, sy’n enwog erbyn heddiw, a thros gyfnod o bedwar mis cawsant drafferth cydrannu £1 yr un am gyfanswm o wyth punt ar hugain o gyfalaf. Ar 21 Rhagfyr 1844, agorwyd y siop ganddynt gyda dewis cul iawn o fenyn, siwgr, blawd, blawd ceirch ac ychydig ganhwyllau. O fewn tri mis, ehangwyd y dewis i gynnwys te a thybaco, a chyn hir roeddent yn adnabyddus am ddarparu nwyddau pur o ansawdd uchel. Ddeng mlynedd yn ddiweddarach, roedd y mudiad cydweithredol wedi tyfu i bron 1,000 o fentrau cydweithredol.
Mae’r gweddill yn hen hanes. Crybwyllir Arloeswyr Rochdale yn aml yn yr un gwynt â Robert Owen, fel cyndeidiau’r mudiad cydweithredol. Gobeithiwn y gall ein hymgyrch Arloeswyr Modern helpu i godi ymwybyddiaeth o wreiddiau’r datblygiad cydweithredol, gan ddangos yr hyn y mae mentrau cydweithredol yn eu cyflawni yng Nghymru heddiw.
Hoffwn ddiolch i bob un o’n Harloeswyr Modern a gymerodd ran, yn ogystal â’r rheini a gynhaliodd y sesiynau tynnu lluniau, gan gynnwys Saith Seren, Amgueddfa Robert Owen, Dynamix, 4CG a siop John Lewis Caerdydd. Diolch hefyd i Mike Dean o Eye Imagery Photography am weithio gyda ni ar y prosiect hwn.
Dave Palmer, Co-operative Housing Project Manager at the Wales Co-operative Centre is preparing to take to the stand at this year’s TAI Conference. He’ll be one of the speakers at the event’s ‘Can Do’ Corner, which is part of the wider exhibition area at the event, which is being held at Cardiff City Hall.
We’ve been given a sneak preview of Dave’s presentation and, as well as talking about how the Centre develops sustainable businesses and strong, inclusive communities by working co-operatively, he’ll be shedding light on how housing is the latest sector in Wales to benefit from this approach.
Co-operative housing is about communities having democratic control over decision-making about their homes, neighbourhoods and communities.
There are many different forms of co-operative housing, which could apply to all forms of housing tenure (i.e. home ownership, shared ownership or rented housing – either at market or affordable rents) and a mixture of tenures. All forms of co-operative housing are “not for profit” i.e. they do not distribute profit to individuals, and they recycle any “surpluses” made on budgets for the good of the local community.
The Welsh Government Housing White Paper gave a commitment to deliver 500 new homes through co-operative housing, as part of action to achieve its affordable housing target by June 2016. There are currently 3 pioneer projects in Wales, that the Wales Co-operative Centre is supporting the development of:-
Newport – 20 co-operative Shared Ownership houses at the former Pirelli Works (Loftus Gardens), being planned with Seren Group.
Cardiff – 41 Co-operative Social Rent Homes being planned with Cadwyn Housing Association.
Carmarthenshire – 27 Co-operative Intermediate Rent Houses being planned with Gwalia Group.
There are a further 17 potential co-operative housing schemes being considered in Wales and delegates to TAI 2014 will be encouraged to start schemes of their own, to help increase delivery in this area.
Dave Palmer is due to speak from the Can Do Corner, at the TAI Conference at 12.25pm on Wednesday 26th March.
For more information on co-operative housing, please visit the Wales Co-operative Centre website
Earlier this month we responded to the consultation on the Housing (Wales) Bill. You can read our full response on the Wales Co-operative Centre’s website. We broadly welcome the aims of the Bill, particularly the move to increase the duty on local authorities to prevent homelessness and to ensure security of tenure and surety of finance for fully mutual housing associations. At the Wales Co-operative Centre, our Tackling Homelessness through Financial Inclusion team works to combat homelessness by taking a proactive early intervention approach to mitigate the need for costly crisis intervention, further down the road. Our Co-operative Housing project is also investigating different approaches that could deliver support and housing solutions that are developed in partnership with the people who require them, giving more democratic control. Read the rest of this entry »