Plans to build new council homes in Carmarthenshire
More than 60 new council homes will be built in Carmarthenshire over the next two years in an £8.5million investment to grow the local authority’s housing stock.
Phase one of the development could start imminently if councillors agree plans for the new-build programme.
As well as planning the first new-build homes across four priority areas, the council is also adding new homes to its stock at an average rate of one a week by buying suitable properties on the open market – nearly 20 homes have been bought already this year at a cost of £1.7million, with the needs of specific families in mind.
Carmarthenshire is one of only half of Welsh local authorities to retain its housing stock, and became the first in Wales to build new council accommodation since the 80s when it developed 12 new homes in 2014 – an act followed up shortly later when it became the first in Wales to suspend its Right to Buy policy in order to protect its stock.
Now Carmarthenshire is also making good on promises to deliver more than 1,000 affordable homes over the next five years as part of an ambitious £60million Affordable Homes Commitment, led by Housing Executive Board Member Cllr Linda Evans.
“We are completely committed to making more homes available for those in highest need,” she said.
“We will be delivering this commitment in a number of ways, including building more council homes across our four priority areas, buying stock that suits our needs, working with developers to ensure a range of affordable homes are built as part of private developments and bringing empty homes back into use.
“We are also actively working with landlords to encourage them to make their properties available at affordable rent levels, including bringing more private sector homes into the management of our in-house social lettings agency.
“We are not leaving any stone unturned – our plans are ambitious, but by using a range of innovative solutions I am confident we will meet our target by 2021.
“When I launched our Affordable Homes Commitment at the beginning of the year we had planned to build 45 new council homes over the full five-year period, and by maximising external funding opportunities we have already increased that delivery plan to 60.
“In total, we will be investing £8.5million in growing our stock in the first two years alone.”
Feasibility studies have been carried out to identify key sites based on a number of factors including housing need and land availability. Developments will consist of two and four bedroom homes which are in highest demand.
The proposed new build sites will be revealed this week when the phase one programme report begins its journey through the council’s political process, getting its first airing at the Communities Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, September 29, before going to Executive Board and Full Council for approval.
The report also outlines how the council plans to work with housing association partners to deliver more new build schemes, and how it could use the Social Housing Grant to support developments.