Low-carbon housing, retrofitting to improve energy efficiency, and training opportunities for prisoners will feature in projects supported by £35m in funding in order to create sustainable affordable homes for the future.
That’s from the Welsh government, which has revealed its Innovative Housing Programme funding will this year focus on Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), in particular using Welsh timber and supply chains to support the country’s green recovery and move toward a low-carbon economy.
Commenting on the announcement, Housing and Local Government minister Julie James said: “This £35m investment will deliver 400 factory-built homes, all of which will be produced by local Welsh companies and their supply chains.
“We are committed to building more high-quality homes in factories here in Wales.
“In Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd, Clwyd Alyn Housing Association have shown what we can achieve together.
“With local suppliers, they have built 38 timber-framed, low-carbon homes with extremely low running costs, which will put more money in tenants’ pockets.
“Partnering with Williams Homes, a Bala-based company, means the frames were all manufactured locally. This created six training opportunities and helped Welsh businesses using modern methods of construction to grow.
“I’m pleased to see residents are now moving in to these fantastic homes and seeing the benefits.”
Projects supported by this year’s round of funding include:
- ClwydAlyn’s construction of 63 timber-frame homes to be whole life zero carbon, built by a Welsh MMC firm
- The firm will be offering training opportunities for groups that struggle to secure employment opportunities
- £3m for Pobl Group to build over 90 zero carbon social homes in Blaenau Gwent, by a Valley’s based MMC producer, using timber-frame design
- Tai Tarian’s construction of 55 new homes and retrofitting of 72 existing homes in Port Talbot, increasing energy efficiency and reducing fuel bills for tenants
- The new homes will be built in Neath Port Talbot by a local family-run MMC partner
Commenting on the project, Craig Sparrow, executive director of Development for ClwydAlyn, said: “We always embrace the local community in our plans to build new and innovative housing, but by working closely in partnership with our designers, contractors, and the Welsh government, it allowed us to gain unanimous support from Local Members and Council Planning Officers for the innovative new scheme, enabling us to deliver many benefits to the local community.
“The Innovative Housing Programme provided by the Welsh government has been vital in delivering a project which has stretched the boundaries by embracing new technology and modern methods of construction to build high quality, ultra-low carbon homes for our residents.
“Projects like this play an important role in reducing fuel poverty, whilst re-energising employment opportunities to support the local economy, both of which help us deliver our mission to tackle poverty.”
Julie James said: “The Innovative Housing Programme shows what we can achieve together – manufacturing homes in factories means that we can continue to build affordable homes, regardless of our weather or the impact of a pandemic.
“We are building back greener, delivering a stable supply of homes in unstable economic times.”
The Welsh government is also working closely with the Active Building Centre Research Programme in Swansea to capture consistent performance data and to develop a framework to evaluate the impact of homes delivered under Innovative Housing Programme.
Image: Two new homes on ClwydAlyn’s development at Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd. Credit: Henry Lapworth Photography
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