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Energy-efficient Wales housing gets £30m cash boost

Welsh housing minister Julie James has announced £30m in funding for innovative housing projects.

The money will be used for a planned 76 homes in Ruthin being delivered by the Clwyd Alyn housing association.

The homes are set to be carbon neutral and will run on renewable energy such as air source heat pumps, solar power and intelligent batteries, which aim to offset the carbon impact of production and construction.

Funds will also go towards the development of 214 low-carbon homes to be built by Cardiff Council.

Swansea Council is set to build 25 new homes to a low-carbon and low-cost standard using some of the funds, and two sites developed by Monmouthshire housing association in Chepstow will create 17 properties.

Ms James said: “We face serious challenges in Wales, in terms of responding to the climate emergency and also delivering more affordable housing. This programme offers us the chance to develop homes with low-carbon impact in mind, and homes that can evolve with their households.

“We have an opportunity to deliver affordable, high-quality homes that meet all these challenges, which reduce the impact of housebuilding on the environment, and that can be built at scale to meet the needs of our communities.”

There has been a steady market for housebuilding in Wales, including recent plans to build in excess of 500 homes over the next five years in North Wales and the North-west by housing JV Hilbre Homes.

But there has recently been a push to improve energy efficiency.

In July, research by both the Urban Land Institute and Northumbria University suggested that around 10 per cent of all residential property in England and Wales, worth £570bn, does not meet the minimum standards required to be deemed energy efficient.

Welsh finance minister Rebecca Evans is also set to announce the creation of a new public sector land division this week to help the sustainable development of public sector land, particularly to increase the delivery of more social housing.

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