Julie James MS, Minister for Housing and Local Government
Over the past 18 months, we have seen significant changes to our day-to-day lives which could not have been anticipated. This has included dealing with the pandemic, as well as critical issues such as the severe and widespread flooding incidents and preparing for EU exit. The pandemic has impacted on all of us and it is clear as we enter the winter months that it will continue to have a profound impact on every aspect of our lives.
In March 2019, I decided not to implement the decision to change the commission rate from the sale of a residential park home, but to reconsider the matter afresh. I wanted to engage with the sector and was minded to undertake further research to ensure I had the strongest possible evidence on which to base a future decision.
To support this, officials developed a draft survey for site owners alongside a draft public consultation document to be used to obtain further evidence on the matter. Options for securing specialist financial expertise to consider the evidence submitted were also explored.
However, since the outbreak of Covid-19, resources have had to be redeployed and housing officials have been working to support people facing an immediate housing crisis to remain in safe and secure accommodation.
Whilst I recognise the importance of the commission rate and the impact this has had on owners of park homes, I have asked officials to temporarily postpone further evidence gathering on this matter, enabling them to continue to focus on the immediate challenges faced as a consequence of Covid-19. This decision will be reviewed following the Senedd elections.
In the meantime, if park home owners have any individual concerns they can contact their local authority. Contact details can be found by entering a postcode here. They can also obtain free independent legal advice from the Leasehold Advisory Service, more information can be found here.
I would like to extend my thanks to those residing in residential park homes, site owners and managers and those representing the sector for their continued engagement and commitment on this issue.