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West Mids partnership to refurbish thousands of council houses

Words: Sam Waddicor

Sandwell Council has struck a deal with three property developers to deliver £50 million of repairs and improvements to 6,000 of the council’s homes.

This replaces the government’s Decent Homes Programme and is part of the metropolitan borough's decade long £490m Housing Investment Programme.

Over the next three years, Lovell Partnerships Limited, VINCI Facilities and Wates Living Space will refurbish around 2,000 homes each. The improvements will range from improved fixtures and fittings to new plumbing and wiring. There will also be external improvements, such as replacing roof tiles and windows, and the partnership will look beyond the houses themselves to the wider community. Among the ideas on the table are health and safety talks in schools and training and employment opportunities for local people.

Ian Jones, Sandwell Council cabinet member for jobs and economy, said: “The council has fought hard to continue investing in its council homes and, given the economic climate, I am proud that we have been successful in developing a continuing programme of housing improvements.

“We're not just talking about physical and environmental improvements to people’s homes, but the improvements to the quality of people’s lives, the boost given to local communities through training and job opportunities for local people and other beneficial projects.”

The regional director for Lovell Partnerships Limited, David Gough, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Sandwell Council, VINCI Facilities and Wates Living Space on this exciting refurbishment scheme. The opportunity to help provide residents with a better standard of living, as well as helping to renovate the council’s housing, stock sits well with our values and ethics. We are looking forward to a mutually successful completion of the works.”

Sandwell Council represents six towns in the West Midlands and currently has a housing stock of approximately 29,000 properties.