Just two per cent of council homes meet standards

Published date: 13 December 2012 |
Published by: Rebecca Cole
Read more articles by Rebecca Cole

Just two per cent of Wrexham's council properties meet Wales' housing standards, it has been revealed 

JUST two per cent of Wrexham’s council properties meet Wales’ housing standards, it has been revealed.

A survey discovered it would cost £240 million to bring all these homes up to scratch in line with the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS).

As a result, Wrexham Council is prioritising making its housing stock wind and water-tight, safe and secure as well as tackling one of the biggest problems – heat loss.

A report that went before the homes, environment and communities scrutiny committee yesterday also revealed almost 10 per cent of private rental stock – almost 4,400 houses – is unfit for purpose and needs mandatory action under the Health and Housing Safety Ratings Scheme.

The report states: “It would be reasonable to assume the condition of the private stock in the county has not improved  significantly since 2006, beyond improvements made through council grants and assistance.

“And it is reasonable to assume the condition of some homes may have deteriorated.”

According to the Office for National Statistics, there has been a UK-wide decline in spending on alterations, improvements, maintenance and repair in the private sector over the period 2008-2010.

In Wrexham, between £11,434m and £16,253m would be needed to remedy all ‘category 1 hazards’ – which include such issues as fire risks from faulty boilers and inadequate heating. as well as health and safety hazards such as uneven floors – at the 4,000-plus privately-rented homes. The council has £15m set aside to improve its properties between now and 2015.

This money will be spent on environmental improvement projects, central heating, renewing kitchens and bathrooms, roofing, rewiring and adaptations.

The report, which described funding as “a big issue”, continues: “Other ways of improving the properties are being considered and the council is working with the Welsh Government to find best ways forward within funding limits.”

Social housing companies Clwyd Alyn, Cymdeithas Tai Clwyd and Wales and West are also required to bring their stock up to the WHQ standard.

The report also discusses the challenge of tenants having less money to spend on their homes, a rise in fuel poverty, help for elderly and disabled people and  provision for travellers and the homeless.

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  1. Posted by: sandrobe2001 at 16:46 on 13 December 2012 Report

    I'm not surprised at this at all. A tenant reports a fault and unless it's an emergency, it usually finds its way onto a list, to be attended to, sometime in the future. My daughter has mould and damp in her bedroom and the Council tell us to open the vents, use the heating and open the windows, seemingly all at the same time. I don't think so.

  2. Posted by: klingpin at 20:50 on 13 December 2012 Report

    Granted the council probably are not angels, but the majority of the problems are caused by the tennants mistreating the house and items inside it as they have not paid for them themselves, and this is not aimed at everybody in councill houses.

  3. Posted by: daisymay at 21:11 on 13 December 2012 Report

    From what I have seen before a new tenant moves in, the house is completely gutted, rewired, central heating, new kitchen & bathroom units, new doors. Elderly tenants who have paid full rent for 30-40 years find it difficult to get a new kitchen tap because the ones they have are obsolete & still have pull chains on their upstairs toilets.

  4. Posted by: sandrobe2001 at 22:45 on 13 December 2012 Report

    We find the second comment rather offensive as my daughter didn't have Asthma until after the new windows were put in, only for the seals to break down, twice and other fittings to fail. And not every Council property is gutted before new tenant(s) move in, our kitchen base units have been in our flat since we moved in 14 years ago.

  5. Posted by: robin63 at 22:48 on 16 December 2012 Report

    sandrobe2001 how we long for double glazing, central heating and a modern kitchen but alas being a home owner and working we get totally overlooked we can live in primitive housing and get no help what so ever, we save when we can to pay for the improvements. oh to be in council property and on benefits,

  6. Posted by: Y Ffin at 22:01 on 17 December 2012 Report

    The Government needs to encourage and enable more people to own their own homes. Being a tenant just infantilizes people into expecting someone else to solve all their problems. It would make more sense to turn housing benefit into a contribution towards a state guaranteed mortgage rather than just subsidizing buy to let landlords!!


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