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Improvement works boosting living standards for hundreds of tenants

Improvement works are now taking place at about 250 council homes across Swansea to help tenants save money on their heating bills.

Insulation works

The project - which includes roof renewals and associated works, the introduction of insulated rendering systems and the removal of cavity wall insulations - is ongoing at homes in areas including Cwmbwrla, Craig Cefn Parc, Loughor, Winch Wen, Pontarddulais, Penlan and Sketty Park.

Due for completion in the next 12 weeks, the improvements are part of a £4.4m programme being spearheaded by Swansea Council to help reach the Welsh Housing Quality Standard.

Following a review of the department, the council's corporate building and property services team has increased its internally delivered schemes by 25% since April 2017, carrying out the majority of these works with its directly employed labour force.

Similar work has now taken place in about 75% of the council's 13,000 houses, with the remainder due for completion in the next two years.

Cllr Andrea Lewis, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Energy and Building Services, said:  "In the past, we used a combination of council workers and external contractors for enveloping and insulation works of this kind, but carrying out a larger percentage of these works in-house has given the council greater control of outcomes and service delivery, while also making it easier to liaise with residents in communities where the works are taking place.

"To achieve our aim, more staff have been taken on by our corporate building and property services team, which has led to a 25% increase in turnover when compared with the 2016/2017 financial year.

"Works of this kind are vital not just to reach the Welsh Housing Quality Standard, but also to tackle fuel poverty across Swansea by helping tenants save money on their heating bills. Once these works are complete, the homes that benefit look a lot more aesthetically pleasing too, which boosts the appearance of communities as a whole."

Other ongoing work to help the council reach the Welsh Housing Quality Standard includes the introduction of new kitchens and bathrooms in thousands of houses. By the end of March, works of this kind will have soon been carried out at many council homes in areas including Penlan, Gendros, Waunarlwydd, Cwm Felin Fach, Bonymaen, Llanllienwen, Caemawr, Clase, Birchgrove, Clydach, Craig Cefn Parc, Pontarddulais and Penllergaer.

The council has also recently completed a new, highly energy-efficient 18-home development at Colliers Way in Penderry, with a second scheme in the pipeline for Parc Yr Helig in Birchgrove.

Cllr Lewis said: "The combination of finished, ongoing and planned work will boost standards of living for many thousands of people, while also tackling the need for more affordable housing in Swansea."

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