Council passes halfway target on promise of affordable homes

35 days ago

Two years in to a promise to deliver 1,000 more affordable homes by 2021, Carmarthenshire County Council is celebrating passing the half-way mark.

More than 500 families have benefitted from the council’s £25million investment to provide more good quality low-cost homes since it made its Affordable Homes Commitment in 2016.

And now, with construction starting soon on up to 50 new-build homes in the Llanelli area, the council says it is looking to provide even more than it initially promised.

Over the next three years, a further 700 affordable homes will be delivered through a range of means – building new, bringing empty homes back in to use, converting redundant premises, and even buying from the open market to grow its housing stock.

It will also continue its work with developers to ensure a proportion of homes on all new developments are available at an affordable rate.

Cartrefi Croeso (Welcome Homes) - the new housing company the council recently created – has its own plans to build around 500 homes over the next five years.

The company will deliver a mix of new affordable homes, for sale and rent, to offer families alternatives to social housing whilst creating new jobs and training opportunities in the building sector. It will also offer housing options across the county, including more rural developments.

Cllr Linda Evans, Executive Board Member for Housing, outlined the progress at a recent meeting of councillors at Carmarthen’s County Hall.

“These are exciting times,” said Cllr Evans. “We are so proud to be delivering on our promise to local families, with the keys for around 550 affordable homes handed over since we made our commitment two years ago. I have been honoured to meet a number of families that have moved in to their new homes.

“We have looked at every option to make more low-cost homes available to rent or buy – only a few months ago I was shown around four new apartments created in an empty space above shops in Llanelli town centre, and met a tenant who has moved into a new flat above office space in Carmarthen. I’ve been on site at the former Buckley’s Brewery in Llanelli where we are working with Pobl Group to create 21 new apartments in a previously redundant building, and am following progress on their work to bring new homes to Ammanford.

“Over the next few weeks, we’ll be cutting the first sod at Garreglwyd in Pembrey where we are building new family homes, and hope to start work in Dylan, Bryn, before Christmas should planning permission be approved.

“Whilst providing homes for people in need, our investment is also helping to create hundreds of jobs and training opportunities in the construction industry.”

She added: “I have likened our Affordable Homes Commitment to a book – a book with an exciting story. We have already been through a few chapters, but there is much more of the story still to come.”