£35m to tackle climate change with innovative housing
With the hell of climate change quite rightly ringing in its ears, the Welsh Government has released £35 million in funds to help deliver innovative housing in, obviously, Wales.
Part of a larger £90m fund created to ‘test new approaches and technologies to help develop social and affordable housing’, the money was announced by Housing and Local Government Minister Julie James during a visit to Swansea Council’s climate change-conscious Colliers Way development.
The minister said: ‘This year social housing providers and the private sector can apply for a share of £35m to test new approaches and technologies in housebuilding.
‘A report from the Committee on Climate Change last week set out the scale of the challenge ahead if we are to develop homes that contribute to tackling climate change. The Innovative Housing Programme is playing an important part in developing the technology to support this.’
The Colliers Way development consists of 18 council homes built to Passivhaus standards, meaning they’re ‘extremely energy efficient with very low fuel bills’. And Swansea Council is building more homes on the site which incorporate ‘battery technology, solar panels and air source heat pumps’.
Other projects already funded include ‘active homes’ currently under construction in Neath which will be available to tenants in July, while a number of schemes in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire using locally sourced timber and powered by solar panels are currently underway.
Minister James added: ‘We are looking to push the boundary on both the type and scale of innovation supported in this third year of the programme. This programme provides an important opportunity to deliver affordable, high-quality homes that help to reduce fuel poverty and reduce the impact of housebuilding on the environment.
‘The significant investment in the programme means Wales is well positioned, to determine how the social and affordable homes of the future can and will be built. I’m looking forward to seeing some exciting projects coming forward for funding, so we can create some beautiful innovative housing in Wales.’
Cllr Andrea Lewis, from Swansea Council, also had things to say: ‘The availability of the funding through the Innovative Housing Programme has enabled Swansea Council to develop modern high quality accommodation for our tenants in the city.
‘We have recently approved further plans to create even more housing in the city with a number of schemes that will be developed as ‘homes as power stations’ – this has given us the opportunity to explore ways of using available modern technology that will enable each home to generate its own energy.’
And while we’re on the subject of averting environmental catastrophe, HQN is currently running a survey about climate change issues. It’s quite short and the data will be extremely useful as we look to shape our own strategies. Click any of this bit to take the survey. Cheers!