More than £117 million is set to be invested over the next five years to ensure council homes are comfortable, warm and in good condition.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council is making the multi-million investment into its housing stock as part of an ongoing commitment to raise housing standards in the city.
Through the HRA five-year capital investment programme, around 14,500 council-owned properties will benefit from improvement works between now and 2028.
The works will range from the installation of new kitchens and bathrooms where required, central heating, insulation and improvements to landscaping, parking areas, external windows and doors and roof repairs. All of the work will be carried out by Unitas – Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s repair and maintenance company – and its sub-contractors.
- The first year of the programme will see a huge focus on bungalows which will benefit from more than £8.9 million of investment in 2023/24 alone.
- This work will build on the goals of the Older People’s Housing Strategy 2023-2028 which aims to help the city’s older residents live well at home for longer.
The strategy, which was adopted by Cabinet at a meeting which took place on Tuesday 15 August, and has been developed on the back of research which suggests that, due to the aging population, there will be an additional 10,450 residents aged 65 and over living in Stoke-on-Trent by 2040.
Councillor Chris Robinson said: “This five-year capital investment programme will underpin our ongoing efforts to raise housing standards in the city. Starting predominantly with bungalows we want to ensure the improvements that we deliver meet the needs of our residents now and in the future.
“We are confident that this work will make residents’ homes warmer which, as well as making them more comfortable, will ultimately save money by reducing running costs and help to alleviate the cost of living crisis when it comes to rising energy bills.”
The £117 million will be invested across six dedicated workstreams which are:
- Decent Homes – a continued focus on providing accommodation which meets the statutory minimum for housing and the city council’s obligations under the Decent Homes Standard 2006;
- Remodelling and Extensions – this is work carried out to remodel and extend existing properties so they can accommodate larger families;
- Energy Efficiency – this will include improvements to loft and wall insulation, windows and ventilation to ensure all properties achieve a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C by 2030;
- Environmental Work – this includes improvement work to landscaping, parking areas and pathways;
- Apartments, Compliance and Fire Safety – this outlines a commitment to providing safe homes and ensuring that building safety and compliance standards are met;
- Garages, Estates and Bungalow Improvements – this includes any external improvement work carried out at council-owned garages, housing estates and bungalows such as wall insulation and improvements to windows, doors and roofing including chimneys.
Councillor Robinson added: “As a social landlord we have an obligation to ensure all our residents can enjoy safe, comfortable and warm homes. We want to bring all of our homes up modern day standards and, by working with Unitas, we are committed to improving our estate and addressing any backlog of repairs.
“We will prioritise investment in works which will ultimately save tenants money and will ensure that we continue to provide safe, compliant, energy efficient, decent homes for residents across the city for years to come.”
(Image taken in Dresden, Stoke-on-Trent, where works are currently in progress, with refurbishment of 51 properties within the estate.)