Grŵp Cynefin to steer Welsh Government’s Dwyfor affordable housing pilot
Grŵp Cynefin, a leading rural communities housing development in North Wales, is pleased to be part of the Welsh Government’s affordable housing pilot in Dwyfor looking for solutions to Gwynedd’s housing crisis.
The recruitment process has begun for a ‘Senior Community Housing Officer’ to work with communities to gather information on local housing needs. As part of the three year contract, the officer will also be tasked with promoting houses based on the community’s needs and creating housing co-operative projects similar to a community trust.
Another responsibility will be to work with registered social landlords and Gwynedd Council to try and meet the area’s local housing needs. It will also develop as a vehicle for promoting community-led housing as a possible solution.
Tackle the housing crisis facing rural areas
The role is part of the Welsh Government’s wider plans to try and tackle the housing crisis facing rural areas of Gwynedd and beyond, that is seeing more and more local people being priced out of the housing market.
Grŵp Cynefin’s Rural Housing Enabler figures* reveal that the percentage of people who cannot afford to buy a home in Dwyfor is as high as 95 per cent in Abersoch, 79 per cent in Aberdaron and 68 per cent in Morfa Nefyn. Gwynedd has the highest percentage of second homes in Wales, 5098, which now sits as one in ten of the county’s homes.
Concentrating on Dwyfor communities the new Senior Community Housing Officer will host grassroot discussions with local community councils, associations and organisations. The main purpose of these will be to identify new land opportunities that could be put forward as potential affordable housing developments sites The officer will also be responsible for engaging with Gwynedd’s housing and planning services, registered social landlords, developers and estate agents.
Wales Co-operative Centre – important partner
Another important partner in the role will be the Wales Co-operative Centre. Through the Community Creating Homes Programme the officer will co-ordinate community housing research as a practical solution to addressing Dwyfor people’s housing needs. A further task will be ensuring accurate data and the opportunity to fill gaps in any information available on second homes and affordability within communities.
Grŵp Cynefin has provided safe, affordable, quality housing to over 8,000 people in all north Wales counties and north Powys since its inception in 2014. Providing excellent housing and services, contributes to the development of sustainable communities while protecting and promoting the Welsh language, one of the cornerstones of the housing association.
Paving the way for the rest of Wales
Grŵp Cynefin’s Board Chair, Carys Edwards of Parc, Y Bala, said: “This Dwyfor pilot has the potential to pave the way for the rest of Wales and it’s a privilege to be part of it. Our team of experienced Rural Housing Enablers is proud to be able to share their experience as leaders in rural housing development and will be working closely with this new senior community housing officer.”
“We want to cement the pilot in Dwyfor”
Climate Change Minister Julie James said: “Working with partners, including Gwynedd Council, Snowdonia National Park and, of course, Grŵp Cynefin, is essential to the success of this pilot.
“We want to cement the pilot in Dwyfor and help develop real opportunities and find workable solutions that will help people live affordably in their home communities.
“The issue of second homes is complex and emotive, we are taking more action here than in any part of the UK and having a Senior Community Housing Officer embedded in Dwyfor will help us drive work forwards.”
Proud to be breaking new ground
Shan Lloyd Williams, Grŵp Cynefin’s Chief Executive, added, “Whilst this post will be challenging there are huge opportunities to making a difference and giving local people a better chance of stepping onto the housing ladder within their own localities. Grŵp Cynefin is ambitious, proud to be breaking new ground as part of the Welsh Government’s scheme whilst working closely with Gwynedd Council.”