Council homes' updating plan

PUBLISHED: 10:21 05 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:35 15 June 2010

COUNCIL houses across the area could be in line for a £10 million improvement plan - with works to include new kitchens and bathrooms, replacements of boilers and heating systems, rewiring and improvements to doors and windows.

COUNCIL houses across the area could be in line for a £10 million improvement plan - with works to include new kitchens and bathrooms, replacements of boilers and heating systems, rewiring and improvements to doors and windows.

The five-year scheme is due to be discussed by East Devon District Council's housing review board on March 6.

It was agreed at a previous meeting in November that a five-year plan be developed that was "property and road specific" and to give tenants more choice over kitchens and bathrooms and door installation and upgrades.

A report to go to the board said: "This approach to future programmes of major works represents good practice and is more popular with tenants than the annual programming arrangements we have used to date.

"We can use the forward programme to consult with tenants, and it gives some useful certainty over when tenants can expect improvements to their home."

The rolling programme would see about £2 million spent each year on improvements for the first five years.

But EDDC also said that "responsive" work such as dealing with dripping taps and other unforeseen events would at least double the budget spent on council homes.

One aspect of the plan is to give council tenants choice and, by working with a selected kitchen manufacturer, a range of units and worktops could be offered, which would provide value for money for the taxpayer.

The plan would incorporate a range of criteria with kitchens to be replaced over the next 12 years, meaning that no kitchen would be more than 23 years old.

With boilers and heating systems, the comprehensive programme would ensure all council homes were up to the Decent Homes Standard.

The report also said some flexibility needed to be retained for the likes of storm damage, flooding and price inflation.

It said: "We will also need to add a new year of work each year to maintain the five-year programme.

"This is our first attempt at programming all major works over a five-year period and this work may need some refining.

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