Welsh Gov doubles spending on social housing for rent to £250m
Welsh Government has doubled its spending on social housing for rent, by committing an initial £250m in 2021/22 for 20,000 new low carbon homes.
It says the plans will address a rising demand for housing and the climate crisis, providing good quality and affordable green homes to those who need them.
All homes will be built new quality and environmental standards with the aim for some of the stock to go beyond net zero and produce more energy than they use. A further announcement on this is expected before the end of this month.
Visiting one of Wales’ first ‘positive energy’ social housing schemes today, the Minister for Climate Change who is responsible for housing, Julie James, said Wales & West Housing’s Rhiw Cefn Gwlad scheme in Bridgend was ‘an exemplar’ for developers, housing associations and councils to follow.
The 14 home development has made use of the latest technical innovations in renewable energy, from exhaust air heat pumps integrated with mechanical ventilation, to large solar photovoltaic roof systems coupled with a Tesla battery system.
The residents who moved in in January this year, received their first negative energy bill in March, meaning the excess energy their homes have generated has already been pumped back into the national grid.
The Minister said: “Hearing how much Cai, Allyn and other residents have been saving on their household bills today, and the difference their new, high quality home has made to their wellbeing, reinforces my confidence that our ambitious housing plan is going to make a real difference to the people of Wales.
“We have doubled our money – committing a quarter of a billion pounds this financial year, so we can get on and build 20,000 new low carbon homes for rent.
“This goes beyond Welsh housing need estimates.
“We are building at scale to address the supply and demand imbalance, homelessness, the growing second homes crisis, and the climate emergency. We are building high quality homes to make a difference to people’s quality of living. And we are ensuring the decisions we make today are the right ones for our future generations.”
Cai Phillips and his partner Abigail Rees moved into their 2-bed home at Rhiw Cefn Gwlad with their three-year-old daughter Olivia after living with their parents in Bridgend.
Cai said: “The systems built into the house are really easy to use. The house is so well insulated that the temperature hardly drops below 20 degrees. Even on some of the coldest days in winter we didn’t need to put the heating on.
“I can control the heating from an app on my phone and I have learnt how to save energy by using the battery to self-power the house. We are paying just £20 a month for our electric bills and are in credit on our bills, which is amazing. The house is perfect.”