22 Jan, 16
Working in partnership with Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, Newydd Housing Association has employed Weston Contractors to fully refurbish empty apartment blocks to create a housing cooperative for local people, allowing tenants to take on some of the management of their own homes within a close-knit community.
Work on the £745,000 total refurbishment of Shakespeare Rise will include new bathrooms, kitchens, roofing and communal areas. The 18 one bedroom apartments owned by Newydd will become the foundation of the cooperative.
Each scheme we have helped to initiate across Wales to date has been shaped to fit local needs, resulting in co-operative housing solutions for people on different income levels and across different urban and rural locations.
– Derek Walker, Chief Executive, Wales Co-operative Centre
The Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, who has responsibility for Housing, Lesley Griffiths said:
“I am very pleased to launch the start of works at Shakespeare Rise. Co-operative housing is a fantastic opportunity for members to have more control over the day-to-day running and management of their homes.”
“I hope this development inspires and informs further co-operative housing schemes across Wales, and I wish everyone involved all the very best as work continues.”
Newydd has already met with potential members of the cooperative through workshops and open days, ensuring that a strong community spirit is built as work continues through to summer 2016 when the redevelopment will be complete. Tenants will decide on whether they will take an active role in activities that could involve day to day repairs, communal cleaning, window cleaning, decoration and gardening in return for a discounted rent and service charge. Newydd, as landlord, would continue to be responsible for all major maintenance tasks and safety checks.
The Wales Co-operative Centre’s Co-operative Housing Project, funded by the Nationwide Foundation and Welsh Government, has provided consultancy and training alongside the Confederation of Co-operative Housing to Newydd over the past nine months.
Derek Walker, Chief Executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre, said:
“With co-operative housing schemes, nothing is off the shelf and Shakespeare Rise is a great example of this. Each scheme we have helped to initiate across Wales to date has been shaped to fit local needs, resulting in co-operative housing solutions for people on different income levels and across different urban and rural locations.”
“This is an exciting period for the housing industry in Wales with a great deal of interest from local authorities and housing associations across Wales for co-operative housing, more than we expected. We are on the point of developing a significant and sustainable co-operative housing sector in this country, which we believe can provide a range of affordable and flexible housing solutions for people and communities.”
Newydd is one of the leading housing associations in Wales, providing nearly 3,000 affordable and high quality homes for rent and sale in Mid and South Wales since 1974.