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Swansea invests £59m in new council homes

SWANSEA Council is set to invest a massive £59m building new homes and improving hundreds of others in the coming year.

Under proposals being considered by Cabinet next week, the council is looking to spend more than £7m during 2021-22 building a new generation of homes including in Hillview Crescent and West Cross.

More than double that – £16m – is also being earmarked to insulate and weatherproof hundreds of existing homes making them warm and efficient.

The Council will also trial the introduction of renewable technologies to selected properties as part of its ambitions to make home more efficient, reduce household costs and reduce carbon emissions.

This will be an opportunity to further develop local skills and expertise in renewable low carbon technologies.  The Council’s £5m plan for new kitchens and bathrooms follows major investment in this area and which has already improved over 9,500 council homes.

The spending is part of the biggest ever investment in council-owned homes for affordable rent in the city and there’s more to come with plans that will contribute towards the aim of creating 1,000 new, comfortable energy-efficient homes over the next decade.

Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Homes and Energy said Swansea Council’s ambitious spending programme for council housing reflected its commitment to providing high-quality homes that are energy-efficient and affordable for tenants.

She said: “Better homes for our residents is one of the critical building blocks of creating a better future for children, for families and for our city.

“Despite the pandemic we have continued with our house-building and home improvement programmes because better homes improve people’s health, affordable homes that are energy efficient helps reduce poverty and together they contribute to happier communities.

She said: “Over the last few years there has been a huge investment worth hundreds of millions of pounds into making sure the homes we own are in good shape and fit for the future under the Welsh Housing Quality Standard.

“In the coming year further investment of an estimated £59m will mean hundreds of families will benefit from improvements to their homes.

“Money is also being earmarked for other projects including electrical re-wiring and weather-proofing where needed as well as general environmental improvements.”

She said: “Under our More Homes initiative, the new homes we’re building are the first we’ve been allowed to do in a generation. We’re determined they will break new ground in levels of energy efficiency so our tenants will be able to keep fuel bills down.

“Over the next decade, we will continue to improve energy efficiency of our homes to reduce carbon emissions. Our commitment to better homes has and will continue to create hundreds of jobs for our communities. Better homes is about building a better Swansea.”

Funding for the new homes and the upgrades for existing homes is coming from the rents paid by tenants, Welsh Government grants and HRA borrowing. None of the spending is from the council tax.