Specialist independent condition surveys begin to help fix council housing in Harlow

Harlow Council / Tue 31st Oct 2023 at 08:09am

A MAJOR inspection programme to improve the standard and condition of homes for council tenants across the town has started as part of Harlow Council’s priority to fix council housing.

This week, tenants within the Harlow Common ward will start to receive letters advising them that the independent specialist assessments on behalf of the council, on the condition of its housing stock, are due to begin. It is the first time in a number of years that the council has commissioned a specialist stock condition survey of this type.

Credit: Brian Thomas Photography

The updated stock condition survey of the council’s 9,000 plus homes will look at the state of internal and external components, including kitchens, bathrooms, central heating systems, roofs, walls and other external structures.

The survey is starting with the inspection of every single council home in the Potter Street area. The data gathered from this will inform how the inspection programme is carried to other council homes across the town.

The council is investing tens of millions of pounds this year into its priority to fix council housing and the new specialist survey data will help the council prioritise this work over the next year and in future years.

Councillor David Carter, cabinet portfolio holder for housing, said:

“As part of delivering our priority to fix council housing, we need up-to-date specialist and independent information on the condition of our housing stock. This is so we can better maintain and improve our homes and have a clear picture of what work we need to prioritise.

“Our homes should be warm, safe, and decent places to live in and the results of the survey will help us prioritise our housing investment programmes, energy efficiency initiatives, disabled adaptations work and overall improve the condition of our tenants’ homes. This is just one way in which we are fixing council housing.”

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12 Comments for Specialist independent condition surveys begin to help fix council housing in Harlow:

Nicholas Taylor
2023-10-31 08:37:30

Credit where credit is due. This is a very positive step forward and one which the Harlow Alliance Party has been pressing Councillors to implement for some three years. Members of our Party have been asking questions of Councillors at committee meetings, what came to light was the fact that the Council has no record of what work had been done to the external fabric of it's houses before 2016 and had only carried out work on less than 200 houses each year since then. Many council houses have not had external work done for over two decades. As has been said, a comprehensive survey will help the Council to compile a list of work needed and prioritise the areas which should be tackled first.

Dan Swords
2023-10-31 08:41:34

Thanks, Nich and yes you are absolutely correct. This is the first time the council has done this in several years and a specialist survey will allow proper planning of regular maintenance and much better upkeep of council properties. We have also been reducing the backlog in outstanding repairs and have cleared nearly 60% in the past 4 months, however this will allow for much better cyclical maintenance.

Kim Oconnor
2023-10-31 09:18:22

Dan swords, my toilet system has been in since house was built 70 years ago... was down for this repair..man came and replaced ball cock... making harder to flush toilet... I've had someone look at it,, he said definitely need new system..... Even David Carter new about this,but only sent letter of dates when I phoned... so we have gone out and bought new system.... is this your ploy ,if left long enough people will do job there self's... we pay for theses services,, and get no return.. I'm not alone in this cutting corner s, bodging jobs to save you money. David Carter did not follow up with letter of repair, knowing we had this problem, never heard from him again.

Luke Burton
2023-10-31 09:22:10

This should result in some interesting data. Seems like a good initiative - will the aggregate results at least be made available to the general public?

David carter
2023-10-31 09:49:47

Well Kim I wrote to you asking to visit for you to show me the problem I gave you my phone number etc for you to contact me. Did You! No you did not. I have visited many homes with Problems and we have resolved them. I am available to help at any time. But You Must Give Me A Chance to see for myself. David Carter David Carter

2023-10-31 13:59:49

Its all bull and claptrap. The housing stock is falling apart. More so the roofs gutterings and facia boards. The most important part of a dwelling. Looks like a depressed third world country. Its time to get this town back to what it used to be.

2023-10-31 17:30:12

Who is carrying out the "independent specialist assessments" on behalf of the council? Is it a private company and how much will this cost? Will all council tax payers foot this bill?

Kim Oconnor
2023-10-31 19:12:05

David Carter, I've tried phoning you, wasn't able to get through, but at the same time, you could contact me again.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-10-31 22:02:55

JB, Council Tax payers do not pay for the upkeep of council housing.

Julie Harrington
2023-11-01 02:39:14

Even though my damp has been addressed, I still have to put the dehumidifier on in my bedroom. I have asthma and trying to recover from cancer, hoping In doesn't spread to my lungs. The dehumidifier is full up after a few hours, day after day.....what will they do about that ???

Kim Oconnor
2023-11-01 10:15:41

Julie Harrington, I have two dehumidifier s on my bay window, I was promised double glazing, when they were last putting window s in,, but was told they run out of money before getting to me. I think roof is leaking, but was told its not rotten by council. so why does ceiling get damp,and paint then peel s of.. I'm constantly redecorating the ceiling. I must add, I received a letter from council, saying how to clean mould of 😂 😂 I'm 65 years old, if I don't know how to clean now, I never will 😂. Just a joke. I'm a brickys daughter, I know when roof is rotten.

2023-11-01 11:19:19

I’ve lived in my flat for 27yrs, I still have singled glazed glass in my window frames, it’s warmer outside than it is indoors even with the heating on! They replaced my bathroom and kitchen a few years ago and I’ve had nothing but problems with drainage since, keep being told it’s up to me to have the pipes inspected by a private plumber which I’ve had done several times, only to be told it’s something further down the pipe and it doesn’t help that the waste pipe is LEVEL! Maybe in another 27yrs I’ll get some double glazed windows and plumbing that does what it’s supposed to do!

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