Harlow Council set to invest £122 million in council homes

News / Mon 31st Jan 2022 am31 08:42am

LAST week Harlow Council set out its 2022 budget proposals which includes £122 million over the next 5 years to maintain and improve council homes and flats for its tenants.

This programme will include internal and external improvements such as new kitchens, bathrooms, central heating systems, roofs and the external structure of homes.

£5.6 million is proposed to enhance fire safety in tower blocks and flats to meet ongoing changes in building legislation. Improving energy efficiency in homes to tackle climate change and fuel poverty will also be prioritised, along with disabled adaptations in homes.

This comes on top of a further £26 million towards building new council homes as part of a New Build Programme to be announced in March.

Councillor Simon Carter, Harlow Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “This will be one of the biggest investments to improve the council’s over 9,000 properties. We are getting on with the job of improving council homes and ensuring that they remain decent and safe places to live for our tenants. Money that we collect from rents will go straight into this programme which will help fund a range of different works to improve the lives of our tenants.

“Building new council homes for local families is a big priority for us, but we hear what our tenants are saying too about improving council homes. So we are doing both in our proposed budget – improving our council homes with £122m investment and building new council housing with £26m which will help kick-start a new council house building programme.”

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7 Comments for Harlow Council set to invest £122 million in council homes:

Marie Compton
2022-01-31 09:18:42

It is so pleasing to see a new administration moving quickly to recover from the 10 years of neglect and decline under Labour. Harlow cannot afford a tax grabbing Labour Party.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-01-31 09:42:09

No fan of the Labour Council of course but It will be interesting to see what difference these plans are compared with those of Labour when they were in power and the Local Plan which was agreed in December 2020. The Harlow Alliance Party is the only Party committed to seeing that only homes for older residents and those with an impairment are built by the Council, which would free up homes which are no longer suitable for their current occupants.

2022-01-31 10:13:58

Mr Taylor makes a valid point. Focusing on warden assisted homes for the ages has merit. It could free up larger homes. Higher financial incentives could be offered to encourage moves. The council should also consider the criteria for access to Council housing. It should be seen as a safety net for the most needy. Those with sufficient means to rent privately or buy, through the various schemes should not be eligible. It is clearly wrong that taxpayers are basically subsidising those who are not in need. It is also wrong to create a culture of dependency. Council homes represent a significant cost for councils to build and maintain and should only be offered to those in genuine need. By adopting more stringent criteria, the waiting lists could probably be reduced.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-01-31 11:48:17

Janes, it also stops them from being sold under the Right To Buy. New homes need to be such that residents are willing to downsize. Applicants with an income (including joint income) over £41k per year cannot go on the Council Housing Register and in most cases single applicants cannot either. The whole housing market place needs radical changes if the country is ever to solve the 'housing crisis'.

2022-01-31 12:13:19

Nicholas Taylor. I agree. The RTB, enabled millions to own their own home and build personal wealth and greater independence. However, today, just building council houses with a right to buy is now a double subsidy: council house rents are below market and after 5 years, tenants can buy them at a significant discount, thereby hitting tax payers twice. New builds should be for the aged to free up larger properties. They should be held in a vehicle that avoids RTB and for the genuine needy. Council housing should be seen as a welfare form and not a right for all. At the end of the day, there is no simple solution. Land is a finite resource, but population increases. In 1950, around the time Harlow was built, the UK population was around 50 million. It is now almost 68.5 million and ageing. Harlow itself is a very small, densely populated area. In 1961, it had a population of 54,000. Today it is almost 88,000 with only a small increase in territory to the East which has largely been filled with new neighbourhoods of Church Langley and Newhall. Unless the boundaries are adjusted to say those of the constituency, there is virtually no remaining space, and even then, we would be losing green belt and farmland. Too many people; too little land.

Clare Harrison
2022-01-31 20:42:09

Dear sir madam. Please would you be so kind as to build more bungalows. I’m desperate to move from this flat, due to my health deteriorating and I can’t get out my flat because of the stairs due to sensory issues and my migraines and asthma and heart issues from long covid, which I’m under a cardiologist with. I have endured years of abuse from my next door neighbour who shouts racist abuse at the black people here and has threatened to rape and kill me. The police finally dealt with it last year and he has stopped shouting at me through our adjoining wall. This doesn’t change the fact, that I still have to share the stairs with him and he still lives next door to me. I’m too scared to put my bins out. Now the bloke who lives underneath me, downstairs has started picking on me. I’m beginning to think these flats are full of misogynists. I went to put my recycling out on 27th January at 4.30pm, and the bloke who lives underneath me, decided to ambush me on the stairs with another bloke. They blocked me on the stairs and I couldn’t get past them. He was shouting and screaming in my face and if it wasn’t for my huge bag of recycling in front of me which I was holding , he would of attacked me. They were waiting for me on the stairs. He looked coked up and was acting extremely out of character. I was scared, but I had a shout back to get him away from me. It’s disgusting I have to put up with this from men in this block. You need to move me ASAP as a priority. This block is not safe for women and you know it. Regards Clare Harrison

2022-02-01 11:22:49

never mind more bloody housing !! more housing =more cars ,more cars = more traffic, more traffic = more traffic jam's, more cars means less parking, less parking =let's park on the pavement ,parking on the pavement = damaged paving, damaged paving = cost of repairing paving, also means problems for people walking on the pavement, and all that will just put your rent's up . and on and on it goes, round and round ,so no more housing at least until you clean up all the on going problems Harlow has first before you spend that money...

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