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Council agrees new strategy for improving homes
12:00pm Monday 21st January 2013 in News
THURROCK Council is leaving behind its “sticking plaster” approach to improving council homes, with a new five year strategy.
The updated scheme for council homes was approved at the latest cabinet meeting, and will see the authority going further than the existing Decent Homes Standard.
Labour’s cabinet member for housing, Val Morris-Cook, said the council currently uses too strict an interpretation of the DHS, just improving the minimum areas of a home instead of looking at everything in the property.
Speaking about the new strategy, which will target all the homes in a street or a block instead of just one, she said: “What we want to do is actually have a look at everything, so that when we go into a property that has got a problem with the kitchen, we look at the bathroom, and we look at the boiler and the electrics, the windows and the roof.
“It’s not just about one off housing, but actually doing housing on block, by estate.
“No longer has someone got to struggle on with a really old bathroom but have a brand new kitchen.”
The cabinet heard 76 per cent of the councils 10,500 homes have requested repairs in the current financial year.
Cllr Morris-Cook said by being “proactive” about improving homes, it should reduce the number of repairs reported by council tenants.
She said: “We are going to be proactive which will stop the repairs coming through, what we have done in the past is put a sticking plaster on things, whereas actually, what we need to do is strip it back and start again.”