Housing and Local Government Minister Julie James visited Swansea Council’s Colliers Way development in Penlan to announce £35m of funding for innovative housing projects in Wales this year, part of a £90m fund to test new approaches and technologies to help develop social and affordable housing.
The Colliers Way development consists of 18 council homes which have been built to Passivhaus standards. This means they are extremely energy efficient with very low fuel bills. Swansea Council are building more homes on the site, incorporating battery technology, solar panels and air source heat pumps thanks to funding from the Innovative Housing Programme.
The Minister will also visit the Active Buildings Centre in Swansea University and see how the research and development centre uses renewable technology and modern insulation techniques to help lower fuel bills and carbon emissions in house design.
Julie James said:
“This year social housing providers and the private sector can apply for a share of £35m to test new approaches and technologies in house building.
“A report from the Committee on Climate Change last week set out the scale of the challenge ahead if we are to develop homes that contribute to tackling climate change. The Innovative Housing Programme is playing an important part in developing the technology to support this.
“We are looking to push the boundary on both the type and scale of innovation supported in this third year of the programme. This programme provides an important opportunity to deliver affordable, high-quality homes that help to reduce fuel poverty and reduce the impact of housebuilding on the environment.
“The significant investment in the programme means Wales is well positioned, to determine how the social and affordable homes of the future can and will be built. I’m looking forward to seeing some exciting projects coming forward for funding, so we can create some beautiful innovative housing in Wales.”
So far, projects funded include ‘active homes’ being built in Neath by the Pobl Group, which will welcome their first tenants in July. Tŷ Solar are delivering a number of schemes in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire constructed using local sourced timber and delivered by a local supply chains, with each timber house powered by solar panels.
Cllr Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Homes & Energy in Swansea Council, said:
“The availability of the funding through the Innovative Housing Programme has enabled Swansea Council to develop modern high quality accommodation for our tenants in the city.
“We believe everyone is entitled to warm, safe, affordable home.
“We have recently approved further plans to create even more housing in the city with a number of schemes that will be developed as ‘homes as power stations’ – this has given us the opportunity to explore ways of using available modern technology that will enable each home to generate its own energy.
“I welcome the announcement of latest funding by the Minister which we hope can benefit Swansea and the rest of Wales.”