Welsh government announces plan for ‘homes of the future’

Welsh government announces plan for ‘homes of the future’

Communities and Children Secretary Carl Sargeant has announced plans to build 22 affordable housing projects in a bid to develop ‘homes of the future’.

The plan is supported by the Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme.

Launched in February, the Innovative Housing Programme aims to create demonstrator schemes to help inform the Welsh Government, housing associations, and local authorities about the kind of homes that should be supported in the future to help address supply and environmental demands.

The scheme was initially given funding of £10m per year over the next 2 years, however, the amount has been increased to nearly £19m this year because of the high quality of schemes that have been put forward.

This will not affect the amount of money available in later years.

The projects that were chosen to move forward include:

  • homes that double up as power stations and can save residents money while also having the potential to create income by producing surplus power.
  • a development in mid-Wales where locally grown timber is used to provide quality, low energy homes.
  • homes made from recycled shipping containers as short-term or ‘meanwhile’ living solutions for people in the most urgent housing need.
  • a new 40-bed extra care project for older people in the Valleys, built using modular techniques which offers opportunities to increase both the speed of construction and the quality of homes.

The projects will also contribute to the 20,000 affordable homes target the Welsh Government aims to provide over this term of government.

The Cabinet Secretary made the announcement while visiting Wernick Buildings Ltd.

The company will join forces with Valleys to Coast housing association to create a development of modular homes in Sarn and Tondu.

The homes will be built at Wernick’s factory on Kenfig Industrial Estate and delivered to the site on lorries, meaning the high-quality structures can be produced and delivered very quickly.

Mr Sargeant said: "The housing sector in Wales is facing many challenges. Increasing the number of homes available, the rate at which they’re delivered and their affordability, while reducing their impact on the environment are the most obvious.

"The projects funded by the Innovative Housing Programme will help us learn what works best and why, both in terms of what we build and how we build them.

"Building homes delivers important benefits beyond simply putting a roof over people’s heads.

“Alongside the well-documented health and education benefits that good quality housing provides for children and families, building homes of all tenures has a significant positive impact on the Welsh economy and on our communities.

“These projects will also demonstrate how we can use the Welsh supply chain to unlock massive opportunities for growth and innovation in housing.”