Tenants look forward to new-look homes
Published by kerri smith for Homes in Havering in Housing and also in Local Government
Hundreds of Havering residents will start hearing soon how their homes are to be given a facelift under a far-reaching £62 million improvement programme.
Homes in Havering (HiH), which manages Havering Council’s housing stock, has already contacted some residents and others will hear soon regarding details of the first wave of planned works.
Thousands of homes across the London borough will be spruced up over the next four years under the scheme, which aims to bring properties up to the national Decent Homes standard.
£8.16 million will be spent this year on a raft of work, including fitting 400 new bathrooms, 630 kitchens, 630 central heating systems, 150 new roofs and 390 double glazed windows, plus external refurbishment of 360 properties.
The oldest houses and flats, or those in the worst state of disrepair, will be done up first.
Over the next few months, HiH will talk to tenants who will benefit from the programme to agree when work will be carried out and to take into account their views and any concerns.
Councillor June Alexander, Chair of HiH, said: “It is fantastic to see this long-awaited investment in our homes finally becoming a reality.
“Our programme of work will significantly raise the standard of properties, improve residents’ quality of life and boost pride in their community.”
After this year’s first phase of improvements, another £16 million will be spent in 2012-13, £15 million in 2013-14 and £23.5 million in 2014-15.
Cash has come from the government’s Decent Homes Backlog Programme, which awards grants to pay for bringing council-owned homes up to the national standard.
The aim is to ensure all such properties are in a reasonable state of repair, free of hazards and with adequate heating, windows, boilers, plumbing and electrics.
In partnership with Havering Council, HiH has been battling for funds to carry out the much-needed work on its homes - many of which date back to the 1960s - for several years.
They lobbied the previous government to reinstate £112 million of funding which was originally promised. Following last year’s change of government, HiH was invited to re-assess the cost of the programme and re-bid for a grant.
After applying for £67.9 million, HiH was told in February that it was to receive £62 million.
Councillor Lesley Kelly, Lead Member for Housing said: “A lot of the housing stock was built almost 50 years ago and, after decades of under-investment, many of the properties are below standard.
“The Council had to fight hard to secure this funding from successive Governments so we are absolutely delighted to see this programme of improvement work finally get up and running. I am sure tenants are as pleased as we are to see all our efforts come to fruition.”