Cabinet Members have agreed their vision for the future of housing in Caerphilly county borough at a meeting of Cabinet this week. Members endorsed a series of ambitious plans, which now pave the way for the delivery and further development of the council’s housing portfolio over the coming years.
The five-year Caerphilly Homes’ Asset Management Strategy outlines the overall approach that will be taken to ensure the councils housing portfolio continues to provide affordable, quality homes that meet customers’ needs into the future.
The Strategy includes:
- Plans to ensure council owned homes are maintained to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) after the programme’s 2020 completion.
- Plans to ensure the best use of properties that received adaptations as part of the council’s WHQS programme. Those homes will be categorised based on their accessibility and then, wherever possible, allocated to suit the specific needs of potential tenants.
- Plans to carry out a programme of external insulation for those properties that have poor thermal energy efficiency, scheduled to begin in 2020. The council will also pursue other initiatives to maximise the energy efficiency of its tenants’ homes in order to reduce carbon emissions and help address fuel poverty.
- Plans to maximise the use of existing assets, remodel a number of sheltered housing schemes, and plans to develop new council homes which would support regenerating towns and communities
Cllr Dave Poole, Leader of the Council said, “This strategic approach to the delivery of housing in Caerphilly county borough beyond 2020 demonstrates our commitment to continuing to meet the current and future demands of our residents, as well reinforcing the key role that this approach has to play in further regeneration of towns and communities across our area.
“We’re making decisions for the long term benefit of our residents, to help ensure that our homes and communities remain strong and resilient long into the future”.
Remodelling of sheltered housing schemes:
Cabinet Members agreed a series of plans which will ensure that older persons’ accommodation across the county borough continues to meet the needs of current and future tenants, as well as working to address demand issues in sheltered housing accommodation and single person accommodation in some parts of the county borough.
The proposals will see major investment in a number of the council’s schemes, over and above the required work to achieve the Welsh Housing Quality Standard to improve facilities for tenants as well as reclassifying some schemes so they are better aligned to meet changing demand.
Cabinet Member for Homes and Places, Cllr Lisa Phipps says, “We always strive to deliver accommodation that meets the needs and aspirations of our residents – both now and into the future. However, largely due to age, design and the changing needs of our customers, a number of our existing schemes require remodelling in order to make them desirable and fit for purpose for our residents.
“These ambitious plans will bring huge investment in our older person’s schemes, and help ensure that our accommodation will meet the needs of our residents for many years to come”.
Develop new council homes:
Cabinet Members also agreed ambitious plans which will see the council begin to develop new council homes, supported by investment from Welsh Government’s Affordable Housing Grant.
The council has been allocated over £1.8 million for 2019/20, following the extension of funding to local authorities.
Feasibility studies will be undertaken on a number of sites throughout the county borough to identify those most suitable for development. As well as building new homes the council will also explore options to increase the supply of council housing through other methods, including the selected purchase of empty properties.
Cllr Dave Poole, Leader of the Council said, “No new council homes have been built in Caerphilly county borough since 2003, and last year we made a commitment to our residents that the development of new council homes was a key priority for us. We said last year that we’d hope to be in a position to take this priority forward by 2020, so I’m proud to say that we’re already beginning to achieve this in 2018.
“With a forward thinking, strategic approach, there are many potential opportunities that can be maximised when it comes to the development of new council homes across our area. We’re sending a bold and clear message that we’re committed to playing our part in tackling the housing crisis, and for us this marks just the beginning”.
The reports agreed by Cabinet on the future vision for housing can be found in full here: http://www.democracy.caerphilly.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=128&MId=11353&LLL=0