Council homes set for £36m revamp

NDET 18-9-12 MC 5'Joyce Coe happy with her new home repairs from Rykneld homes, including her new kitchen.
NDET 18-9-12 MC 5'Joyce Coe happy with her new home repairs from Rykneld homes, including her new kitchen.

The biggest investment in council homes for a generation is set to take place in North Derbyshire - thanks to a £36m cash boost.

Thousands of tenants are set to benefit from home improvements as new figures reveal more than half of the area’s council homes are in a poor state of repair.

New kitchens, bathrooms, doors, windows, heating systems, electrical upgrades and roof repairs will help bring properties up to the government’s Decent Homes standard by 2015.

Tenant Joyce Coe, of The Wynd, Renishaw has already benefited from work and has had a new kitchen, windows and doors fitted and a new toilet in the bathroom.

Mrs Coe,80, who has lived in her current council home for more than 20 years, said: “Some houses have become very rundown over the year.

“But I couldn’t be happier with the work, they’ve done an absolutely lovely job.”

She added: “The old draughty doors and windows have now gone and been replaced with double glazing.

“When I think about the first council home I had more than 40 years ago, and the standard of home I now live in there is no comparison.

“It’s nice to think that lots more tenants will now see their homes modernised as well.”

At the end of March 56 per cent of the council’s housing stock was classed as ‘non decent’ - but by the end of the programme all the council’s 8,100 homes will have been brought up to the government standard.

North East Derbyshire District Council, together with Rykneld Homes, has secured the funding from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Rob Pearson, head of area at the Homes and Communities Agency said: “I am really pleased that we are able to make this investment which will enable local people in North East Derbyshire to live in homes that they want, where they want.

“This money will help the local authority meet the vision they have set out for their local residents.”

The funding will build on Rykneld Homes’ ambitious improvement programme to make council homes warmer, and fit them with modern kitchens, bathrooms, windows and doors.

Improvements will be carried out across the district – with £19.7m of the funding allocated for work in 2013/14 and £16.2m for 2014/15.

The work is running alongside a regeneration programme to build the first new council homes in the district for decades, and to refurbish hundreds of other non-traditional properties to provide high quality homes for years to come.