Council unveils plans to build homes
Swansea Council is looking at the potential for two small pilot schemes which could see new council houses built in Penderry and Llansamlet over the next few years. The pilot schemes are part of a longer term strategic plan for the Council to provide many more affordable homes in the future.
Work has already been done to identify plots and homes could be built on a site in Milford Way, Penderry, and at Parc y Helig in Birchgrove.
If these schemes get the go-ahead they will be funded by revenues from council rents. The schemes would not be paid for from council tax.
Cllr Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Next Generation Services, said: “It's no secret that demand for good quality, affordable homes to rent isn't being met in sufficient numbers. Families and communities are suffering as a result and, as a council, Swansea has the determination to do something about this.
Tackling poverty and building sustainable communities are two of the council's top priorities and providing new affordable homes will help us to achieve both.
Changes to the way council housing is financed in Wales came into effect in April, which means we can now consider a return to building once again. This is something we haven't been able to do until now due to government restrictions since the 1980s. There's a critical shortfall in the number of homes in Swansea for affordable rent and the sooner we start to to fill this gap, the better.
A report going to Cabinet on September 17 says the next stage would be to carry out more detailed site investigations to see what could be developed. It's too early to give precise numbers but studies show a demand for affordable homes in both areas.
Cllr Lewis said a lot more work still needs to be done before the design for the schemes is finalised. Issues such as landscaping, transport planning and car parking are among those that will need to be addressed.
If the report is approved, the council will allocate money from its Housing Revenue Account to develop the proposals prior to submitting a planning application for the two sites.
Cllr Lewis said: “If these pioneering, pilot projects are successful they will provide much-needed affordable new homes for rent for local people. The construction phase will also provide the potential for creating local jobs and local skills.”