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Council approves continued investment in housing stock

Published 19th January 2023

Thousands of Sandwell Council tenants are set to benefit following Sandwell’s Cabinet approving nearly £45 million pounds worth of investment in their homes over the next five years.

Cabinet members gave the go ahead to fund three major refurbishment and maintenance schemes as part of a review of the council’s investment programme to make sure the authority’s council homes are well maintained and up-to-date.

A £19.8 million refurbishment scheme will see St Giles and Moorland Courts in Rowley Regis– two 15-storey blocks built in 1966 – each undergo a major facelift benefitting 170 flats in all.

Improvements will include: new entrance doors, single glazed windows being replaced with double glazed tilt and turn composite windows, new balcony doors and balconies upgraded, and insulated pitched roofs.

The blocks will also be externally cladded with mineral wool insulation and rainscreen cladding to improve thermal efficiency, all communal areas will be redecorated including new flooring and sprinkler systems will be installed.

A further £6 million will be spent on a range of internal improvements to hundreds of properties over the next four years. These would include – where needed – new kitchens and bathrooms, plastering, rewiring improvements and energy efficiency measures demonstrating the council’s commitment towards achieving carbon neutral reduction targets and climate change initiatives.

Finally, just over £19 million will be spent on a  variety of maintenance works including lift maintenance and electrical services, day to day repairs to the council’s housing stock and supplying the council’s in-house supplies section with domestic electrical items, plumbing parts and building materials.

Councillor Charn Singh Padda, Sandwell’s cabinet member for housing, said: “As a responsible landlord, we need to continue investing in our properties to keep them at a high standard and make sure our tenants are living in safe and modern homes which meet their needs.

“We are also carrying out work to improve the energy efficiency of properties to help tenants avoid fuel poverty, which has never been more important with the cost of living crisis we are experiencing.”

The announcement of these latest schemes follows a review of the council’s ten-year Housing Revenue Account Investment Programme, which was last reviewed in 2017.

The five year period from April 2017 through to March 2022, saw the council investing more than £136 million continuing to improve and maintain its housing stock, which is made up of more than 27,300 properties.

Specifications will now be drawn up and contractors invited to tender for the work.