Millions to be spent on council houses

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Warwickshire County Council's Shire Hall headquarters in Warwick.

COUNCIL tenants have had a double dose of good news after plans to spend millions on improving current council houses and to build hundreds of new ones were announced.

Warwick District Council bosses have given the go-ahead for £14million worth of improvements to current council housing and announced they will bid for money to build 400 more.

The improvements cash is expected to be rubber stamped by the full council on 19th September and includes £11million for a substantial programme of improvements over the next two years, as identified by the council’s Stock Condition Survey carried out in 2016-17. Another £3.2million was approved by councillors for further upgrades recommended by the council’s housing services team.

Improvements include new roofing, kitchens, bathrooms, windows, doors or insulation and the council says it aims to make sure all its properties meet a high standard internally and externally.

The council also committed to improving the energy efficiency its homes. It pledged to improve its properties to meet and even exceed the energy performance of those in the private sector, by achieving an EPC rating of D or higher.

Warwick District’s Portfolio Holder for Housing Services, Councillor Peter Phillips said: “These are far reaching proposals to ensure all our tenants will have homes that are of a decent and modern standard. Improving energy efficiency will provide warmer homes for our council tenants and help reduce their fuel bills at a time of increasing gas and electricity prices.”

The council will also apply to the government to borrow more money to cover building 400 new homes, after a recent policy change that allows local authorities to access additional funds for affordable housing.

Cllr Phillips added: “I am very pleased that the Executive has given the green light to seek additional funds from those recently made available by the Government to deliver on our ambition of creating a significant number of affordable homes, in particular for families or young people wanting to stay in the area.”