The Swansea Labour-led council administration has been celebrating the official opening by the city’s Lord Mayor of the first council homes to be built for a generation.
Cllr Mark Child paid a visit to 16 new properties at the site Parc yr Helyg in Birchgrove – among the most energy-efficient ever built by Swansea Council.
The homes are powered using green energy sources including solar power generated from panels on the roofs of the properties. The power will be stored in batteries installed in each of the homes.
All the homes will also be heated using ground source heating technology drawing heat from more than 50m below the ground.
The Council secured £1.5million from the Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme, enabling the properties to be developed as ‘Homes as Power Stations’.
Cllr Child said: “With thousands of households on the housing waiting list we must celebrate new council homes being built. And these are truly 21st century homes, built with care and an astonishing attention to detail so that tenants can enjoy some of the most energy-efficient homes available anywhere.
“I’m sure tenants are going to be thrilled by them and their low energy bills.”
Labour Cllr Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Homes and Energy, said the properties at Parc y Helyg are part of the council’s overarching ambition to invest tens of millions of pounds in the coming years on new, affordable energy-efficient homes for rent to local people.
She said: “This is a significant investment in our housing stock using the most modern green energy technologies which will give tenants the opportunity to benefit from very low energy bills.
“In the coming years we’re aiming to build 1,000 new homes in communities across the city. Thanks to the energy-efficiency that will come as standard residents will see lower fuel bills which will help ensure they avoid fuel poverty and we help reduce the council’s carbon footprint.
“An important element of this development has been the use of local supply chains where 75% of the workforce has come from within a 10-mile radius and more than 90% of the spend was within a 15 mile radius.”
As well as the properties at Parc yr Helyg 18 new homes are also being developed at Colliers Way (phase two) and more recently the Council has secured further Welsh Government IHP funding which is being used on a new site at Beaconsfield, Clase, with the development of 25 new homes.
Julie James MS said: “I am delighted to see, here in Swansea, the first council homes to be built for a generation.
“Welsh Labour has a long standing commitment to the provision of good quality, affordable housing – recognising its fundamental role as the bedrock of good communities. In Wales, we have protected council housing by ending the Conservative’s Right to Buy.
“Councils want to build and we are supporting them.
“We are investing to increase radically the supply of new social homes for rent and it is a pleasure to see the fruits of our ambition here at Parc yr Helig.
“These innovative homes at are a fantastic example of high quality, sustainable homes to the benefit of local people and communities.
“This is an exciting time for the housing sector in Wales as we work together to deliver more affordable, zero carbon homes, supporting the Welsh construction industry and creating training opportunities.”