The Council has provided an update on the work to redevelop Abertonllwyd House in Treherbert, via a project which has benefitted from substantial Social Housing Grant Scheme funding from the Welsh Government and has been delivered in partnership with the owners, RHA Wales.
Abertonllwyd House is located in the heart of Treherbert and was constructed circa 1920’s and is a traditionally built property over 3 floors containing flats to the upper, ground and first floors, with under croft/basement at lower ground floor level.
The property has been owned by RHA Wales since the mid-1980’s and contained 13 homes, which were a mix of bedsits and flats.
The building became difficult to manage with high void rates, whilst its configuration and property types also contributed to this challenge. Due to this, the building was empty for several years.
Empty properties can be a financial expense to owners and the Council, and, in many cases, they are missed opportunity to provide much needed housing and specialist accommodation locally. Empty properties are also more likely to be left to deteriorate, having a negative impact on the appearance of communities.
Empty properties can also have a negative impact on communities, creating eyesores that are a target for nuisance and anti-social behaviour. They also deny homes to those in housing need and increase pressure for new affordable home development on greenfield sites.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council were approached by RHA Wales in early 2021 to explore opportunities for the future use of the building. Both parties agreed to explore converting the building to deliver much needed supported accommodation within the local authority area.
Work on the development commenced in October 2021 at a total cost of £980,000, with the Welsh Government providing £630,000 in Social Housing Grant funding.
Additional funding was secured through the Welsh Government in April 2022, which allowed the Council and RHA Wales to plan and redevelop the building as a pathway for single homeless clients that present as homeless and to alleviate pressures on the use of temporary accommodation. The redevelopment will be completed by the end of Summer of 2022.
The redevelopment will utilise the ground floor and first floor of the building and comprises of 8 x 1-bed 2-person apartments, staff accommodation, laundry area, training rooms and a communal space.
The 2 ground floor flats have been adapted to accommodate residents with disabilities and the adaptations include:
- wider door openings
- walk-in shower
- rise/fall kitchen complete with oven and hob
There will be will staff on site 24/7 and the purpose of the scheme is to support and provide the residents with the life skills required to move into permanent housing.
Other on-site support includes financial support through budgeting/organising finance, mock interviews with literary support to help with job seeking, and both physical and mental health support.
The connections with local support groups and links with local services will enable for additional courses, including courses provided by Communities for Work, Health and other local community organisations, to be accessible to service users. The scheme will help alleviate pressures on the use of temporary accommodation by providing much needed single person accommodation.
Councillor Bob Harris, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities, said: “It is pleasing to see this redevelopment scheme continuing, ahead of its expected completion later this summer.
“Abertonllwyd House is a prominent building in the Treherbert community, so it is vital that it is put to good use and, once completed, it will provide vital accommodation in finding a solution for single individuals presenting as homeless and also, crucially, providing a number of support services on-site to ensure they are prepared to move on to more permanent housing.
“I would like to give my thanks to RHA Wales and the Welsh Government for working closely with the Council to ensure a sustainable future for the building.”
Posted on 01/08/2022