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Tenants set to benefit from investment in warmer homes

COMMUNITIES across Swansea have been benefiting from tens of millions of pounds of investment to help modernise their homes and keep them warm.

View of Swansea and the Bay from Kilvey Hill

Council tenants from Townhill to Ravenhill and Bonymaen to West Cross have got energy-saving boilers, home insulation, new roofs, kitchens and bathrooms as part of the council's 20-year Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) programme.

The ambitious modernisation programme is set to enter a new phase in the coming years, as the council aims to work with the Welsh Government to make council houses even more energy-efficient and fit for a carbon net zero future.

Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Homes and Energy, said tenants' lives have been improved thanks to the council's campaign to improve homes, help cut the cost of heating and keep rents affordable.

She said: "Communities across Swansea have seen thousands of homes improved over the last 20 years and we're still on the case.

"In Ravenhill, for example, we've spent £8m in recent years providing new roofs, roof insulation, high-performance double glazing and new kitchens and bathrooms.

"In the next four years we're planning a further £7.3m of investment in almost 200 homes in Ravenhill which will improve thermal performance to help keep energy use and costs down.

"At a time when energy costs and housing costs are climbing, Swansea Council is investing in its communities to help tenants cope."

She added: "In addition to our refurbishment programme we are also building new affordable homes that will always be council homes for rent in places like West Cross and plans for more in Brokesby Road in Bonymaen alongside proposals for improvements in Tudno Place, Penlan."

If plans for Brokesby Road are approved, it'll mean the Bonymaen community will provide a home to more families benefiting from the council's 'Swansea Standard' houses, which will be among the most energy-efficient of any in Wales.

The new properties - the first council-owned homes to be built in a generation - are part of the More Homes programme which has already seen tenants moving into homes in Blaenymaes, Birchgrove and Clase.

The new properties are being funded by a mixture of council rents, borrowing and Welsh Government grants. None of the investment is coming from the council tax. By law, council houses cannot be sold and affordable rents will continue to be set by the Welsh Government.

Cllr Lewis said: "The next phase of the programme currently being discussed with the Welsh Government and social housing providers across Wales is looking at how far and how quickly we can go in improving them still further in the years ahead.

"These developments have prompted other councils around the country to follow our example and clearly shows we are helping lead the way in the creation of modern, safe and warm council housing."