THE ambitious operation to assess and – where necessary, upgrade – every council house in Thurrock is well underway.
Work has been completed on around 1,200 homes, with surveys or renovations currently underway at another 250.
Thurrock Council’s ‘Transforming Homes’ initiative started last summer and over five years all the council’s 10,300 homes will be assessed – with many expected to have significant improvements. The scale and nature of the work in each home depends on its state of repair after an inspection by surveyors. Work will take place across the borough on a ward-by-ward basis.
The £68 million programme involves replacement of:
· Kitchens over 20 years old
· Bathrooms over 30 years old
· Boilers that are over 15 years old and electrics that are over 25 years old
· Windows that are older than 30 or that are single-glazed and
· Roofs over 40 or 50 years old (depending on type).
The programme includes steps to make homes more energy-efficient – lowering energy bills for tenants and helping the environment.
Cllr Val Morris-Cook, cabinet member for housing, said: “Thurrock Council tenants deserve the best that social housing has to offer. The Transforming Homes programme is one of the most ambitious council housing renovation schemes anywhere in England. Housing can play a vital role in people’s health and wellbeing as well as improving their daily lives. The work now underway is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a real difference for thousands of people.”
However homes with urgent problems, such as damp and mould, can be assessed and works done before their scheduled place in the timetable if thought necessary. This is part of the programme’s outcomes-focussed approach aimed at improving outcomes for local residents.
Work on each home typically takes around two-four weeks but most tenants will be able to stay in their home. People with additional support needs should contact their resident liaison officer.
Thurrock Council is also building new council housing stock for the first time in many years and has established a housing development company, Gloriana Thurrock, to build homes in areas where private sector developers are failing to build enough good quality homes.