Council continues investment in council homes

Published 25th September 2018

Sandwell’s cabinet members have approved nearly seven million pounds worth of investment in its council housing stock.

Senior councillors gave the green light to two schemes to help keep the borough’s council homes well maintained and up-to-date.

One scheme will see around £4.55 million being spent on a rolling programme of maintenance to 40 high-rise blocks during the five year period 2018/19 to 2022/23.

In recent years the council has spent around £226 million on a programme of major high-rise improvements which saw thousands of tenants benefit from new windows, render and cladding, roofing works as well as updated communal areas with new entrances, fire retardant paintwork and fire doors.

Sandwell Council Leader, Councillor Steve Eling said: “The blocks which were improved at the beginning of the programme are now in need of some repair and maintenance.

“This latest investment means that this work can be carried to ensure that the blocks continue to remain in good condition for many years to come so that our tenants continue to live in safe, good quality homes.”

Following a tendering process, first in line for the work set to start in 2019 are blocks in Farley Street and Horton Street in Tipton.

The second scheme sees the awarding of a four-year contract worth £2.4 million - £600,000  each year - to carry out-day-to-day repairs, which has been split between two companies, Axis Europe Plc and Woodland Property Services.

Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, cabinet member for housing, said: “This contract complements our in-house repairs team and will ensure that tenants continue to receive a quality and timely repairs services when needed."

Both projects are part of the council’s latest £485 million ten-year Housing Investment Programme approved in October last year which focuses on improving the council’s existing housing stock as well as building new council homes.

The ongoing Housing Investment Programme also includes £52 million to deliver major refurbishments - including new windows, external cladding, roofing works and improvements to communal areas and entrances - to a further 13 high-rise blocks across Oldbury, Rowley Regis and West Bromwich which will start with Alfred Gunn House, Oldbury, in spring 2019.