Loft Conversion First for Sandwell
Back L to R: Councillor Olwen Jones, John Davies (Buckley Loft Conversion), Councillor Elizabeth Giles, Councillor Pam Hughes, Paul Jones (Riverside). Front: Councillor Simon Hackett.
The first loft conversion in a Sandwell pilot scheme has been highly-praised by the housing cabinet member who strongly believes that conversions can help to ease overcrowding in council houses.
Councillor Simon Hackett, Sandwell Council's cabinet member for housing, said he had been “delighted” to see the successful work on the first home at Wolseley Road at Harvills Hawthorn, West Bromwich.
“I asked for this pilot scheme this year because I firmly believe that a loft conversion can allow over-crowded families to stay in their homes,” he said.
“We are doing six or seven of these this year and I will have small, ongoing programme of improvements year on year because I firmly believe that they will bring benefits to tenants and the council,” he said.
Overcrowding and the number of under-occupied houses in Sandwell was a big problem and the conversion of lofts on some specially-selected houses would help to alleviate some of the problems, he added.
“I was delighted to see the first conversion and the family involved were very, very pleased with the new facilities they have now,” he said.
“This scheme will allow us to help those people we are unable to assist at the moment because of the lack of housing stock,” he added.
Housing provider Riverside, which manages the property at Wolseley Road, Harvills Hawthorn estate for Sandwell Council, unveiled the two bedroom loft conversion.
Local company Buckley Loft Conversions was commissioned by Riverside to complete the work on the semi-detached property which took nine weeks to finish.
Councillor Hackett joined Riverside and Buckley Loft Conversion staff to unveil the brand new bedrooms.
Paul Jones, Riverside Midlands assistant director of operations, said: “We are pleased with the results of the conversion and are continuing to work closely with the council to look at increasing the capacity of other properties in the coming months.”
Paul added: “Being able to provide the additional two bedrooms will bring much-needed space for the tenant and her five children, without having the disruption of moving them to another property.”
The two organisations are working together on the Hawthorn Fields Private Finance Initiative (PFI) project at the Harvills Hawthorn and Millfields estates in West Bromwich.