Page last updated at 12:41 GMT, Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Public Accounts Committee

The 2012 target for social housing in Wales will not be met according to Gareth Jones, an official from the Welsh Government.

Giving evidence on 20 March 2012 at the Public Accounts Committee on Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS), Mr Jones said that some improvements had been made but that it was obvious from the Auditor General's report that there remained a lot of work to do.

Mr Jones added that a more robust system needed to be put in place and a more rigorous standard for the benefit of tenants.

Joining Mr Jones, Kath Palmer from the government's housing directorate said that the need to increase supply as well as improve community housing in Wales was an issue.

Ms Palmer explained that with the impending cuts in people's benefits, an increase in homelessness was an issue of concern to the government.

Labour AM Jenny Rathbone asked what progress had been made in making houses more energy efficient amid concerns that some tenants were reluctant to turn on the heating for fear of receiving high bills.

Ms Palmer said that there was no gold plate standard and that efficiency is hard to achieve in older properties, adding that there are already tighter standards of efficiency in Wales than in England.

The WHQS was introduced by the Welsh government in 2002 to help improve social housing standards.

The WHQS sets a minimum standard for homes, with certain requirements at its core that are more challenging than similar schemes in other parts of the United Kingdom.

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