Swansea Council has pledged to go local when it builds its next phase of social housing, delighting the city’s Labour Party.
The Labour-controlled council is planning to build a selection of new one and two-bedroom homes at Parc Yr Helyg in Birchgrove, and as part of the scheme, the a local supply chain is being earmarked to build the £2.8million development.
The latest phase of council houses is the second of a pilot scheme following on from the creation of innovative ‘Passivhaus’ homes at Colliers Way near Blaenymaes heavily backed by Swansea Labour.
‘Passivhaus’ designed homes are internationally recognised as low energy homes and contractors assisting in the building of them have to be accredited to be involved.
The Council is now looking at introducing its own design – ‘Swansea Standard’ -which are described as ‘fabric first’ high-energy efficient properties and the report to Cabinet will seek to recommend this approach instead of Passivahaus.
Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Homes and Energy, said: “Our aim is to continue developing social housing in Swansea that the Council and future tenants can be proud of.
“We have recently completed the first phase of our pilot scheme at Colliers Way and tenants are benefitting not only from high quality housing but also from those homes being energy efficient.
“The latest proposals will also feature homes where energy efficiency is a priority.
“The new homes will follow the Swansea Standard design instead of Passivhaus. This gives us more flexibility with bringing in local contractors and as a result helping boost our local economy.”
The report to be considered by Cabinet will also recommend allocating £500,000 towards phase 2 of Colliers Way.
Cllr Lewis added: “The development of the Swansea Standard design also gives us an opportunity to seek funding via the Welsh Government Innovative Housing Programme and assist us in a further phase of homes at Colliers Way.”
As well as developing new homes in the city, the Council is also continuing its work to upgrade existing council properties so it meets the Welsh Housing Quality Standard.
The standard requires all Welsh councils to meet specific standards within its own housing stock by 2020. This includes all homes having up-to-date kitchens and bathrooms and are properly insulated.
To date, two thirds of the Council’s housing stock has received new kitchens, half have had new bathrooms fitted and all homes have had new windows and doors fitted.
Cllr Lewis added: “The work to achieve these standards has been ongoing for some time now and we are seeing a vast improvement in the condition and quality of homes our tenants are living in.”