Tyfu Tai Cymru: the future of housing in Wales
We spoke to Catherine May, manager of our new Tyfu Tai Cymru project, to find out more.
Hi Catherine, can you tell us a bit more about Tyfu Tai Cymru?
It’s a five-year project funded by the Oak Foundation with a focus on increasing the understanding of the role of housing in Wales, based around three key themes. The first is keeping the profile of housing high on local government agendas, so that when local authorities are making plans housing is always an integral part of them. As it stands, the Welsh Government’s consultation about the options for the reform of local authorities only mentions housing once, which gives you an idea of the scale of the challenge. To help with this, we are going to carry out a survey of housing professionals working in local authorities so we can find out more about the opportunities and challenges they are facing.
The second priority is the delivery of the Welsh Government’s 20,000 affordable homes target and the future of house-building. What does that look like in practice? Do we have the skills to deliver it? And what should house-building targets look like in the future?
Finally we will be exploring the links between health, housing and social care. Everyone knows it’s a good idea for these sectors to work together much more closely, and there are excellent examples of this happening all over Wales so how can we make this a national priority?
What can we expect from the launch at TAI 2018?
We’ll be looking at the results of some polling that YouGov has carried out for us about the perceptions of housing and social housing in particular. We’ve found that it is viewed very differently according to people’s experiences. I think the results will give those of us who work in housing a lot to think about and I’m really looking forward to sharing them more widely.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you came to work in housing?
I started out at Oxfam, then I worked at Mind on the ‘Time to Change’ campaign and most recently I was Head of External Affairs at the Equality and Human Rights Commission in Wales, where I was responsible for setting up the commission’s inquiry into accessible housing.
Throughout my career, I’ve worked in poverty, mental health and tackling inequality and a golden thread through all of this has been the importance of people having access to good, safe and decent housing. So I’m really excited to be part of Tyfu Tai Cymru – I’ve only been here five weeks and so far it’s been about meeting people from the sector including like the minister for housing and talking to as many stakeholders as I possibly can. This is a real opportunity for the housing sector to come together to explore how we make sure housing in Wales is fit for the future.
Tyfu Tai Cymru will be explored in more detail at TAI 2018. Click here for more information.