Swansea council to spend £265m on council houses over next four years

AT LEAST £58m will be spent this coming year maintaining the external fabric of homes, improving fire safety, fitting new kitchens and bathrooms, energy-efficient boilers and other facilities that will improve the lives of families every day.

Tenants living in the Croft Street flats in Dyfatty will see at least £18m spent on their homes, including upgrades indoors, communal area makeovers as well as improvements to cut heating and fuel costs for tenants.

Andrea Lewis, joint deputy leader and Cabinet Member for climate change and service transformation, said the council intends to spend £265m over the coming four years on council homes in landmark improvements that will also create and protect local jobs and apprenticeships.

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She said:

“Having a safe, affordable comfortable place to call home is an essential building block for a happy and secure family life, especially for our children.

“Our investment in housing is not just about bricks and mortar, it’s about offering people the chance to make the most of their lives and their opportunities thanks to the security of a decent, affordable home to rent.

“Investment in council homes is an investment in the city’s future.”

Housing improvement projects will be continuing on council homes in communities from Clydach to West Cross and from Townhill and Mayhill to Sketty and Portmead.

On top of more than £9m spent in the current year another £5m will be spent in the next four years fitting new kitchens and bathrooms to those council homes which have not already had them.

Nearly £19m will be spent in 2022/23 on wind and weatherproofing homes with another £12m spent on building and acquiring a new generation of affordable homes for rent that are energy-efficient and keep fuel bills low.

Cllr Lewis added:

“Swansea Council is committed to building 1,000 new homes in a decade. They will be homes fit for the future and affordable to rent. We’ve already completed new award-winning homes in Parc y Helig and Collier’s Way.

“We’ll soon be handing over more homes in Hillview and Beaconsview to tenants.”

“Over the next decade, we will continue to improve energy efficiency of our homes to reduce carbon emissions. Improvement of the external fabric of council properties will increase levels of insulation as part of our new decarbonisation programme.

” An extra £26m over a four-year period will be invested in the installation of renewable technologies such as PV solar panels and batteries as part of our efforts to help reduce residents energy bills.

“The decarbonisation programme will create more energy efficient homes, lower energy demands from grid supplies which will contribute to reducing carbon emissions and impacts of climate change.

“This 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 Housing Revenue Account borrowing. None of the spending is from the council tax.

Gwynoro Jones

Former MP for Carmarthenshire, Gwynoro Jones joined the team covering politics in Wales. He has a wealth of experience in politics and has been a regular commentator on radio, TV and in newspapers in Wales. Email: gwynorojones@walesnewsonline.com
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