THE number of Thurrock Council tenants seeking repairs to their homes is falling because then council is taking pre-emptive action improving its stock of homes claims Thurrock Council.
Housing portfolio holder Cllr Lynn Worrall, told Wednesday (22 September) evening’s meeting of the full council “between April and September 2012 there were 27,230 and this year’s figure for the same time was 19,646”.
She was answering a question from Cllr Sue Shinnick which asked: “How many responsive housing repairs is the housing repair service currently having to undertake compared to two years ago?”
Cllr Worrall said: “Thanks to the way our housing department has been working on improving our housing stock through Transforming Homes and all the other programmes we’re running – like tackling mould and cladding – the requests for responsive housing repairs has fallen.”
She said: “What Cllr Shinnick might also like to know is that well over four-fifths of those 19,000 – 84 per cent – rated the work and response either Good or Excellent. As colleagues have said in the past, we want 100 per cent, but we’re getting there.”
Speaking afterwards, Cllr Worrall explained: “This reduction in repair requests is because we have made significant improvements to the way we deliver repairs as well as the overall increase in planned work.
“In addition to the Transforming Homes programme which has already improved 2,700 of our 10,500 homes, we have put in nearly 1,500 kitchens, 1,300 bathrooms – plus 344 adapted bathrooms; we’ve provided nearly 300 modern boilers; 500 entrance doors and fully rewired 567 homes.
“In all 2,058 Thurrock Council homes have been improved. A further 100 had substantial damp remedial works.”
She added: “More homes have also benefitted from our thermal efficiency programme which has delivered external wall insulation to over 200 homes – many of you will have driven along Hathaway Road in Grays, in recent weeks and seen that work going on there.
“In fact, the council is investing twice as much money and improving ten times the number of homes than was possible in previous years.
“Our recent contracts have continued to offer substantial efficiencies when compared to contracts in 2008/9 to 2010/11 with the average cost of a kitchen now under Â£4,000 compared to over Â£9,000 paid in 2010’s contracts.
“And this is value being added to the whole Thurrock economy, not just for tenants. We’re creating local jobs, local apprenticeships and improving communities.”