An ambitious plan to build more than 4,000 high-quality homes across the city and tackle a range of issues, including fire safety, repairs and homelessness, is at the heart of one of Cardiff Council’s latest core initiatives.
The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan for 2022-2023 outlines a series of wide-ranging objectives including:
Building new council homes;
Investing in existing homes and community facilities;
Tackling poverty and supporting people into work; and
Moving towards zero carbon.
The key proposal is a commitment to build more than 4,000 new homes across a wide range of locations, including 2,800 new council homes. This amounts to the largest council housing build programme in Wales – an investment that will eventually total more than £800m.
Unveiling the Plan, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: “This is not just about building quality homes. Access to services and a healthy local economy are essential for safe and strong communities. Our programme will deliver both enhanced and new neighbourhoods where people are proud to live.”
The building programme is already under way in Cardiff. By January this year, 802 new homes had already been created, including 609 new council homes and 193 homes for sale. A further 410 are under construction, 133 more are out to tender for a contractor and 423 have planning permission in place.
Other measures outlined in the Business Plan include replacing the cladding on the council’s stock of high-rise apartment blocks, new innovations to carry out repairs on council homes (work that has been affected by the pandemic), and improving and extending community hubs.
In addition, the council is working to improving the insulation of its housing stock. Currently, 96% of its homes are above the Welsh Government standard and plans to use alternative energy heating, such as ground or air-source heat pumps, in future homes, along with cladding and solar panels for all low-rise blocks of flats are in place.
The council is also committed to addressing homelessness. Cllr Thorne added: “We want to see an end to homelessness in the city altogether, but where that isn’t possible we want to ensure it is rare, brief and not repeated.”
Older residents, too, will feel the benefit of improved housing advice and a £100m plan to create 10 new community living buildings.
“This will help to create around 500 new homes specifically for older tenants to ensure our population ages well,” said Cllr Thorne. “Addison House in Rumney will be the first in 2023, but additional schemes are planned at Maelfa and St Mellons and as part of the first phase of the Channel View development.”
Funding to implement all the measures contained in the Business Plan will come from a number of sources, including the Welsh Government’s Major Repairs Allowance.
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