£300m to get Swansea Council homes up to scratch
SWANSEA Council is planning to spend more than £300 million over the next 10 years on the biggest upgrade to its council homes and their communities in a generation.
Proposals agreed by the Cabinet outlined the options for funding the work needed to improve the stock up to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard which included measures to make homes more energy efficient.
June Burtonshaw, Swansea Council's cabinet member for place, said: "Good quality homes that are energy efficient, affordable, secure and in safe communities are a key part of the council's anti-poverty agenda.
"Swansea Council already spends millions of pounds a year maintaining and improving its housing stock and this extra investment will help make all the difference to tenants over the coming years."
Mrs Burtonshaw said the new programme would help to safeguard and create jobs and would be a major boost to the local economy in difficult financial times.
The plans mean that funding would be available to improve all homes up to the standard by 2022. The standard states that properties should be in a good state of repair, safe and secure with modern kitchens and bathrooms. It also says that they should be located in safe and attractive environments. Yesterday the Post reported how a soldier home from Iraq had claimed the council house he was given in Cydach was worse than mud huts he had lived in in a war zone.
Terry Hewitt, 30, said walls had holes in and needed plastering and there was no gas and electricity when they were handed the keys. He said: "I've seen better mud huts in Iraq. Obviously coming from a military background I'm used to everything being immaculate, but the house in Clydach is not to a minimum standard — I was surprised."
Swansea Council said there had been some problems with the repairs, adding: "We've apologised and agreed to carry out more works at the property."