City South tenants have 100 million reasons to celebrate
Published by Becki Ord for City South Manchester in Housing and also in Environment
A £100 million project to improve homes in Hulme, Fallowfield, Moss Side and Whalley Range was completed this week, after five years of intensive work.
The project, by social housing provider City South Manchester Housing Trust, has seen improvements to nearly 4,500 homes, bringing them up to high, modern standards.
Highlights of the investment include the installation of more than 7,000 new bathrooms and kitchens, 3,000 new energy efficient boilers and 2,300 homes have had their loft insulation improved. (See enclosed graphic for more details)
The area’s 11 iconic 1960s tower blocks have also been given a new lease of life with smart, energy-efficient aluminium cladding to the exterior of each tower helping to reduce fuel bills by 25% and improvements to communal areas inside.
Seven million pounds of the total investment was devoted to environmental improvements, such as new gardens, lighting and communal areas, making estates safer and more attractive.
One of the last tenants to have his home improved was 53-year-old Callum Harvey.
Callum, who lives on Northdown Avenue, suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and uses a wheelchair. He said: “The work completed by City South has given me a new lease of life. I have never been happier.”
As well as installing a new kitchen and bathroom, City South worked with an architect to adapt the home to Callum’s needs. This included widening doorways, lowering light switches, extending the kitchen and relocating the bathroom.
“My new home is a shining example of what a housing association can do for its tenants; they have done a fantastic job,” said Callum.
Dave Power, Chief Executive of City South Housing Trust said: “When City South was set up back in 2008, we promised tenants that we would put the investment in to improve their homes and neighbourhoods, creating strong, sustainable communities.
“We’ve delivered on that promise, through one of the biggest and most ambitious home improvement programmes this area has ever seen. It has made a big difference to people’s quality of life, with modern homes that are cheaper to heat, and estates that feel safer and look more appealing.
“Our work is by no means finished. We’re now starting a longer term programme of planned maintenance, to make sure homes and neighbourhoods remain in great condition in the years to come.”
City South’s improvement programme began in June 2008. The housing organisation has carried out regular tenant satisfaction surveys since commencing work, with more than 90% of tenants saying they are now satisfied with the quality of their homes.