Harlow Council proposes to invest £120 million to transform council homes this year.

Harlow Council / Tue 13th Feb 2024 at 01:05pm

HARLOW Council is proposing to invest £120 million to transform council homes this year.

The council says that over £60 million is set to be invested into upgrading and improving existing council homes with a further £59 million to deliver and improve council housing services that its tenants want including quicker repairs and better maintenance.

Photo by Brian Thomas Photography

The council’s housing budget proposals for 2024 to 2025 include:

  • £12.6 million towards fire safety and compliance works across council homes and flat blocks and £7 million to support residents and the proposed demolition of the Sycamore Field flats due to fire safety works
  • Over £7 million towards upgrading the external features of existing council homes
  • £2 million towards roof replacements on council homes
  • Over £37 million to build new council homes for Harlow families
  • Significant investments into energy efficiency, upgrading housing estates, aids and adaptations, new kitchens and bathrooms, and structural works
  • More funding for repairs and maintenance of council homes through the HTS (the council’s maintenance company) contract to continue the improvement on repair timeframes and turnaround times on empty properties
  • Funding to continue the specialist stock condition survey and tenancy audit programmes to ensure improved planned maintenance of properties
  • A 7.7% housing rent increase in line with government guidelines taking the average rent from £104.18 to £112.20 a week; more money will go towards funding improvements for tenants
  • Investment to further improve landscape maintenance, cleaning and other service provisions for tenants and leaseholders
  • More investment into existing garages to bring them up to standard
  • Increased funding to deliver the garage demolition programme to create new car parking in estates

Commenting on the proposals, the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Housing, Councillor David Carter said: “Since June we have been focussed on fixing council housing by clearing the backlog in housing repairs, speeding up the turnaround time on empty homes, ensuring local homes are for local families and much more besides.

“As we now move forward on our mission to transform Harlow’s housing, we are set to invest £120 million into our council homes and council housing services this year. To do that, we must increase council rents in line with the Government formula, but by doing so we can significantly improve the services tenants receive and upgrading our council homes. Even with this rent increase, we remain the lowest council housing rents compared with any comparative council with the increase taking the average rent from £104.18 per week up to £112.20 per week, but this added investment will mean better services and better homes for our tenants. ”

The council’s budget proposals will be discussed at this Thursday’s (15 February) Cabinet meeting and debated at the Full Council meeting on 22 February 2024.

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12 Comments for Harlow Council proposes to invest £120 million to transform council homes this year.:

peter henegan
2024-02-13 13:44:40

Never having worked in the public sector, may I ask, please: 1. Is this expenditure solely to do with Harlow Council rental properties/ rental income ie totally outside the scope of our council tax? 2. Presumably some tenants will take advantage of the right to buy and purchase their property. Can money raised from such sales be applied towards building new homes?

Gary Roberts
2024-02-13 14:01:56

Must be an election coming. This is just something to put on a leaflet in May. Hopefully the tenants won't fall for it. If they do, expect to be disappointed.

2024-02-13 14:15:03

Let's hope they paint the properties at Milwards , they are an eyesore.

2024-02-13 16:19:14

Totally agree with that comment Eddie, must be the worst in the town.

old harlow vigilante
2024-02-13 21:20:02

and pigs will fly .total lies

2024-02-14 06:42:08

We are private tenant in sycamore field I bet we don't see any of that 7 million and why if its only 5 .5 million to repair do we have to be made homeless

2024-02-14 06:53:12

Replce new kithen and take out old ones

2024-02-14 07:19:00

The problem is all the people who own there flats will have to contribute 10s of thousands of pounds each that they have not got right now, they was genuinely considering giving each flat owner of the sycamore flats a £100,000 to fix a problem they did not cause....thank god they didn't who could afford that? Flats owners should expect big bills for new windows doors and other works they didn't ask for and can not afford on top of there mortgage

Kim Oconnor
2024-02-14 11:00:50

I don't see why sycamore field should pay.. Is it there fault theses building we're not built up to the standards.. no.. Why weren't theses faults detected in the survey s. Why weren't theses inspection s done properly. Who's at fault here, not the people that's for sure...

Richard haddow
2024-02-14 21:15:23

How will we know our bathroom will be updated ?ours needs replacing where do we apply?

Tommy Rootsey
2024-02-14 21:15:34

Ah more empty clap trap talk.Labour,Tory,both are shitehawks I'm afraid.Please don't make out you are doing us a favour, as IT'S OUR MONEY YOUR SPENDING. No matter how much money you have,it will never be enough,because your stupid.Not as stupid as us though.would you be interested in some magic beans going cheap ?

Richard haddow
2024-02-14 21:16:15

How will we know our bathroom will be updated ?Will you come and look at it.

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