£69million boost for Chesterfield council homes

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Council houses in Chesterfield are set to benefit from an extra £69million funding boost over the next three years.

Chesterfield Borough Council announced the investment after news that it will achieve the Government’s Decent Homes standard in all 9,500 council houses it owns and manages by the end of March.

The standard requires all homes to meet set criteria ensuring they are warm, protected from the weather and have modern facilities.

Now the standard will be met, the council’s cabinet has agreed a further £69m of improvements between 2015/16 and 2017/18 to bring homes up to an even higher standard.

This will include work to:

• Install cavity wall insulation and replace older central heating systems in homes;

• Replace roofs, old UPVC windows and install external wall insulation;

• Improve the environments of some housing estates, including the London Boroughs estate in Barrow Hill in 2015/16 and the Holmehall estate in 2016/17. Measures will include the creation of roads, garden space and better parking areas;

• Construct four new build houses in Rufford Close, Boythorpe

• Buy selected properties on the open market which meet a housing need.

Councillor Jim McManus, the borough council’s executive member for housing, said: “It is a real achievement to have got our council houses to the Government’s Decent Homes standard and delivers on our promise to tenants.

“But we don’t want to stop there because we believe council homes are not second class.

“They should be every bit as good as the private sector can offer.

“The extra £69m investment we are now making over the next three years will enable us to maintain the high standards we have already met and then go over and above them.”

A spokesman for the authority said: “The funding for the housing improvements is separate to normal day-to-day council spending and cannot be spent on any other council service.

“Recent changes in the rules mean councils can borrow money to invest in housing, with repayments funded by the income received from council tenants.”

For more information about council housing in Chesterfield, visit www.chesterfield.gov.uk or call 01246 345888.