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Welsh Government grant for council house development

An innovative scheme to build Swansea's first new council homes in a generation has won financial support from the Welsh Government.

Milford Way

Swansea Council has successfully applied for a grant under the Welsh Government's Innovative Housing Programme to cover some of the costs of the 18-home pilot development on land off Milford Way in Penderry.

Welsh Government officials will soon meet with Swansea Council to discuss the project in more depth before a formal letter outlining the amount and terms of the grant is issued.

Tenants have already started moving into the new development on Milford Way, which is made up of 10 two-bedroom semi-detached houses and eight one-bedroom apartments.

Each home has been designed to innovative, energy-efficient Passivhaus standards, meaning they need very little energy for heating and cooling. Among their features are specialist, highly airtight doors and windows.

Funded by revenue from council rents and not from council tax, the scheme will help inform similar developments in other parts of Swansea in future.

Cllr Andrea Lewis, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Energy and Building Services, said: "The award of this grant to our scheme on Milford Way is recognition of the project's quality and innovation, and the hard work of our staff who have constructed the new homes there.

"With the final costs of the scheme soon due to be submitted to cabinet and council, this grant will help offset the costs, freeing up revenue from council rents to be spent on other housing improvements and developments across the city as we look to further tackle Swansea's need for more affordable housing, while reducing fuel poverty by introducing technology that will help the tenants of these new homes save on their energy bills.

"As part of this, the council is working with the Welsh School of Architecture to monitor the effectiveness of the new homes and work with tenants to help them keep their energy bills as low as possible. 

"The Milford Way pilot scheme will help inform other council house builds in Swansea in future."

Carl Sargeant, the Welsh Government's Cabinet Secretary for Children and Communities, said: "The housing sector in Wales is facing many challenges. Increasing the number of homes available, the rate at which they're delivered and their affordability, while reducing their impact on the environment, are the most obvious.

"The projects funded by the Innovative Housing Programme will help us learn what works best and why, both in terms of what we build and how we build them.

"Building homes delivers important benefits beyond simply putting a roof over people's heads. Alongside the well-documented health and education benefits that good quality housing provides for children and families, building homes of all tenures has a significant positive impact on the Welsh economy and on our communities. These projects will also demonstrate how we can use the Welsh supply chain to unlock massive opportunities for growth and innovation in housing."

Launched in February this year, the Innovative Housing Programme aims to create demonstrator schemes to help inform the Welsh Government, housing associations and local authorities about the type of homes it should support in the future to help address supply and environmental demands.

Initially funded by £10 million per year over the next two years, the fund has been increased to nearly £19 million for this year because of the quality schemes that have come forward. This will not affect the amount of money available in later years.


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