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£150million investment in over 900 new council homes

OVER 900 new-build council homes will be built in Carmarthenshire over the next 10 years in a massive £150million investment by Carmarthenshire County Council.

The ambitious plan, subject to Executive Board and Full Council approval, was unveiled for the first time at a meeting of the council’s Community Scrutiny today Tuesday (July 2).

It will be the biggest increase in council housing stock in Carmarthenshire since the 1970s, and will return the authority’s housing stock to levels last seen in the county since the 1990s.

A variety of housing styles and options will be built across four action areas to meet local need and demand.

Llanelli and District will see the biggest investment with over 400 new homes planned. Nearly 200 are planned for Carmarthen and the West, as well as in Ammanford and the Amman Valley, and over 100 will be built to meet specific demand in rural areas.

Providing more affordable homes has been one of the council’s key priorities for a number of years.

In 2015, the authority became the first in Wales to suspend the Right to Buy to retain its declining housing stock, and built a number of bungalows – the first local authority housing to be built in Wales since the 1980s.

A year later, 2016, it launched its affordable homes plan, promising to deliver 1,000 additional affordable homes in the county by 2021 by building new, buying from the market and converting empty buildings. Almost 700 of those homes have already been delivered.

This new additional investment to deliver 932 council homes for rent will be delivered over 10 years in three phases.

Over £53million will be invested in the first phase, with over 300 homes being built and let within the next three years – £44million coming from the council’s own capital funding and £9.3million from external grants.

Aside from providing much needed homes in the county, the investment will also boost the local economy creating jobs, training opportunities and apprenticeships in the construction industry.

Cllr Linda Evans, Executive Board Member for Housing, said: “We are proud to lead the way in Carmarthenshire, and hope that our vision will have the support of council so we can deliver these much-needed homes for local people.

“We have looked carefully at where there is greatest housing need across the county, and aim to deliver a plan that will provide homes in communities where people want to live, a range of homes to suit specific needs including homes for people requiring assisted living, where there are good transport links and easy access to facilities.

“We have achieved so much already in recent years, and this new investment and commitment will help us fulfil the demand for low-cost social housing that is fit for the future.”

See the plan and report in full as part of the agenda papers for the Community Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday, July 2, on the Council and Democracy section atcarmarthenshire.gov.wales

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