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Work Starts on New Council Homes

Pictured at the Parc yr Helyg building site are Cabinet Member for Homes and Energy Andrea Lewis, Welsh Government Minister for Housing and Local Government Julie James, and Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart.

Properties will be affordable and energy efficient

Construction work has started on new, energy-efficient affordable council homes in Swansea.

The 16 homes are going up at a new site in Parc yr Helyg, Birchgrove,

The Swansea Council development follows the creation of 18 homes at Colliers Way, Penderry, which were completed in 2018. A further 18 homes are set to be developed at Colliers Way Phase 2 later this year.

Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart said: “The Council is committed to much-needed council house building for the first time in a generation.

“The new homes will be available for affordable rent and will have adaptability built in so older tenants or those with disabilities will be able to have the property tweaked for their needs.

“None of the borrowing needed for the forthcoming two Birchgrove and Penderry developments will come from council tax – it will all be paid for from the rent tenants pay into the Housing Revenue Account.”

Julie James, Welsh Government Minister for Housing and Local Government, said: “I applaud Swansea Council on the continuation of their council house building programme.

“The Welsh Government is delighted to support Parc yr Helyg and the Colliers Way extension with funding from phase two of our Innovative Housing Programme (IHP). This year social housing providers and the private sector can apply for a share of £35m to test new approaches and technologies in housebuilding.

“We want to develop homes that contribute to tackling climate change and are affordable to run. The IHP is playing an important part in developing the technology to support this.

“We are looking to push the boundary on both the type and scale of innovation supported – and Parc yr Helyg and Colliers Way do that.”

Andrea Lewis, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Home and Energy added: “Around 150 new council homes are set for construction at a cost of £22.8m from now until 2022 under Swansea Council’s ambitious house building schemes.

“All the properties will be built to a new Swansea Standard level of energy-efficiency to help new tenants keep fuel bills down.”

She said: “The IHP funding enables the Swansea Standard specification to be combined with the latest technology to develop the homes as Homes as Power Stations.

“The homes will be fitted with integrated solar roofs and battery storage. This will be combined with ground source heat pumps, SMART meter home energy displays and apps that tenants can use to monitor energy use and battery performance. These homes will provide a test bed for rolling out the Homes as Power Stations (HAPS) concept and working towards delivery of energy positive homes at scale.”

The HAPS programme aims to deliver these smart, low carbon, energy efficient homes through a coordinated approach across the region, ultimately leading to a reduction in fuel poverty and its impact on health and wellbeing and contributing to carbon emission reduction targets and alleviating the housing shortage. The aim is also to expand the supply chain for specialist elements, and promote local supply chains and growth in the local economy through employment.

As well as the projects planned for Parc yr Helyg and Colliers Way, further preparatory work is planned by the council for house-building earmarked for Hill View Crescent and Beacons View Road in Clase, alongside a new Welsh medium primary school.

There are also proposals for building in future years in Bonymaen, Scurlage, West Cross and Clase. The new homes initiative comes as Swansea Council continues its work on upgrading its entire 13,500 council housing stock to the Wales Housing Quality Standard by next year.

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