AMBITIOUS plans to provide hundreds more homes for rent in Swansea are helping city families find affordable places to live.
In the last year the council has bought back more than 50 council properties which had been sold off as part of the former right-to-buy programme and they are now being let to tenants, providing warm, safe homes for them and their families.
The buy-back scheme is just one element of the council’s determination to help ease growing pressure on the availability of affordable homes to rent in Swansea.
It’s also included in the council’s 10-year More Homes programme that includes building 1,000 affordable homes to rent and energy-efficient properties – the first new council housing project for a generation.
Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Service Transformation, said the buy-back scheme is an effective and quick way to add to the council’s existing stock of 13,712 homes for rent to help ease pressure for more affordable homes for rent across the city.
She said: “So far we’ve bought back a total of 125 homes, including 52 last year, that were sold off through the UK government’s right-to-buy scheme. At that time councils weren’t allowed to use the proceeds of sales to build more homes.
“But under Welsh government law changes, councils in Wales have been freed-up to build more homes and buy back former council houses as we are doing in Swansea.
“This project is one of the council’s policy commitments on housing agreed last year. We’ve allocated more money to use alongside the using Welsh Government Grant for the buy-back scheme for the current financial year too so we can make progress as quickly as we can to get more people into affordable rented accommodation during the cost-of-living crisis.”
She added: “The More Homes project has also seen the council purchase the former Bryn House education centre which has been converted into four flats alongside creating an additional five units in its grounds we’re using to help people into safe, supported accommodation.”
The More Homes programme is being funded by a mix of rental income from council tenants and Welsh Government grants. None of the money is coming from council tax.
The scheme has funded new homes in Blaenymaes, Birchgrove and Clase and just recently it funded the transformation of the former Gorseinon Social Services respite centre into 2 new 3 bedroom homes for local residents, as well as the recently completed new bungalows in West Cross.
Another 160 new homes are also the pipeline in the Brokesby Road area of Bonymaen which is currently going through a consultation process with residents.