£47mn funding has been approved to improve more than 2,000 homes through a range of works from new bathrooms, kitchens and boilers to rewiring, new doors and adaptations for disabled residents.
£5mn will be used to enhance safety across 12 high rise blocks, including further investment in sprinkler systems and wider fire safety improvements including flat compartmentation, new fire doors and better access routes.
£2mn of the fund has been earmarked for essential adaptations, making sure the needs are met of residents with accessibility requirements and ensuring they can live in their homes independently for longer.
General estate upgrades include more than 1,000 new or improved bathrooms and 244 new kitchens.
324 homes will also receive new boilers to improve energy efficiency of these properties and reduce property running costs for residents. The funding will also help install 110 ground or air source heat pumps and 67 solar panels.
First homes at Silk Street completed
The work is part of an ongoing commitment to ensure homes owned by the city council meet decent homes standards and improve conditions for the city’s social housing tenants.
Beginning in 2024, the Council’s Housing Services team will start to develop a five-year programme of home and estate improvements. This will be supported by a condition survey of all 12,500 Council-owned homes in the city which will help inform and prioritise any improvement works that are required.
Delivering the best possible service for social housing tenants is a key priority for the Council and underpins the decision to bring Northwards Housing – the Council former arm’s length housing management company – back in house.
Under new leadership, the Council’s Housing Services team has begun to tackle a backlog of repairs exacerbated by the delays caused by Covid-19 – and the service has reported an 85% approval rating for works carried out in the first quarter of this year.
In July, the Council announced a landmark £60m energy efficiency programme over the next two years, which will deliver upgrades to 2,100 Manchester homes as part of the city’s target to become net zero by 2038.
To note, for clarity – the total investment between the two funds is circa £100m into the Council’s social housing stock (rather than £110m as you might expect) This is because circa £10m of the previously announced energy efficiency investment will be used to support low carbon investment in the private sector properties.
Cllr Gavin White, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and development, said: “This is one of the biggest investments in Council-owned homes in many years and is a clear commitment to our residents to deliver a social housing sector that our tenants can trust – and homes they can be proud to live in.
“We want to deliver the best possible service for social housing tenants, and we firmly believe that everyone in Manchester deserves a safe, secure and decent home.
“Bringing the management of the social housing the Council owns back in house was done to help continue with our focus on improving the management standards of our residents’ homes. This move was also a commitment to delivering vital and further capital investment to improve the quality and standard of our homes and properties.”