LOW carbon housing, retrofitting to improve energy efficiency and training opportunities for prisoners will feature in projects receiving funding to create affordable homes for the future.

The Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme funding is focused on Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) this year, in particular using Welsh timber and supply chains to support our green recovery and move towards a low carbon economy.

Housing and Local Government Minister Julie James said: “This £35 million investment will deliver 400 factory-built homes, all of which will be produced by local Welsh companies and their supply chains.

“We are committed to building more high quality homes in factories here in Wales. In Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd, Clwyd Alyn Housing Association have shown what we can achieve together. With local suppliers, they have built 38 timber-framed, low carbon homes with extremely low running costs which will put more money in tenant’s pockets.

“Partnering with Williams Homes, a Bala-based company, means the frames were all manufactured locally. This created six training opportunities and helped Welsh businesses using modern methods of construction to grow. I’m pleased to see residents are now moving in to these fantastic homes and seeing the benefits.

“The Innovative Housing Programme shows what we can achieve together; manufacturing homes in factories means that we can continue to build affordable homes, regardless of our weather or the impact of a pandemic. We are building back greener, delivering a stable supply of homes in unstable economic times.”

Projects supported by this year’s round of funding include:

• ClwydAlyn are building 63 timber frame homes to be whole life zero carbon, built by a Welsh MMC firm. The firm will work with HMP Berwyn to offer training opportunities for prisoners;

• £3 million for Pobl Group to build over 90 zero carbon social homes in Blaenau Gwent, by a Valley’s based MMC producer, using timber frame design;

• Tai Tarian will build 55 new homes and retrofit 72 existing ones in Port Talbot, increasing energy efficiency and reducing fuel bills for tenants. The new homes will be built in Neath Port Talbot by a local family-run MMC partner.

Talking about the project, Craig Sparrow, Executive Director of Development for ClwydAlyn said: “We always embrace the local community in our plans to build new and innovative housing, but by working closely in partnership with our designers, contractors and the Welsh Government, it allowed us to gain unanimous support from Local Members and Council Planning Officers for the innovative new scheme, enabling us to deliver many benefits to the local community.

“The Innovative Housing Programme provided by the Welsh Government, has been vital in delivering a project which has stretched the boundaries by embracing new technology and modern methods of construction to build high quality, ultra-low carbon homes for our residents.

“Projects like this play an important role in reducing fuel poverty, whilst re-energising employment opportunities to support the local economy, both of which help us deliver our mission to tackle poverty.”

Local schemes in North Wales will include:

A scheme by ClwydAlyn proposing 63 timber frame homes built to be whole life zero carbon, produced by a Welsh MMC producer.

The MMC producer will link up with HMP Berwyn to offer training and opportunities for prisoners as part of the delivery of this scheme, with workshops and equipment located within HMP Berwyn.

Six low carbon homes with a Welsh producer making its first steps into delivering high quality affordable MMC homes will come from Wales and West Housing Association, in Mold.

North Wales Housing Association will also collaborate across three sites in Gwynedd and one on Anglesey to provide 113 homes using Welsh timber and an integrated energy strategy.

A scheme between Adra and North Wales Housing Association will bring 21 low carbon homes using Beattie Passive design from the Creating Enterprise factory in Holyhead.

A local SME (traditional housebuilder) to build 18 low carbon timber framed homes to deliver PassivHaus levels of energy performance at Ysgol Llaingoch for Anglesey Council.