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£459m to make council homes decent

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MORE than £459 million needs to be spent on Warrington’s 8,876 council houses to bring them up to the minimum level required of a local authority, Town Hall chiefs have been told.
The figure rises to more than £530 million if the council aims for the “modern standard” which includes double glazing and modern kitchens and bathrooms which tenants could reasonably aspire to, according to a survey by consultants.
Despite this, the properties are said to be, externally, in “reasonable condition”.
The survey has been carried out as part of an appraisal of options for housing in Warrington following five years of housing management carried out by the council’s “arms length management organisation”, Golden Gates Housing.
Next February, the council’s contract with Golden Gates ends and the options appraisal is intended to decide the future of housing management in the borough.
Coun Bob Barr (pictured), the council’s executive member for regeneration and housing, said the consultants had looked at 25 per cent of the town’s housing stock.
To meet the “decent homes standard” – which was actually quite a low standard – it would be necessary to spend £51,742 per property over the next 30 years.
To meet the higher “modern standard” the cost would be £59,724.
The costs assumed the council would keep all 8,876 properties for the next 30 years.
Coun Barr added: “The key to this major exercise has been to make certain the basic information is up-to-date and robust – and this survey ensures a firm basis of understanding to enable us to consider our options.”
The council is now examining what it can afford and whether it will have the resources to undertake any necessary investment in both the short and medium term.
Golden Gates Housing is said to have had five successful years, during which much has been achieved and the organisation was given a Three Star “excellent” rating by the government. However, extra funding given by the government ended in March and the council is now considering the future management and funding of its housing stock.

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

1 Comment

  1. £52,000 per house…to bring it up to standard…HELLO! ! this stinks of squandering to me. I know house prices have gone up lately, but the components that make up house have not gone up equaly. I just had a qute for new doors and windows for a much bigger property than standard tennant housing and nailed them down to £5,500 (if I was buying for 810+ proprties I rekon I could of got that down another £1,500 at least…so theres £4,000, rewire at £2k, Replumb at £2k, redecorate at £2k, insulation, £1k, new kitchen and bathroom 2k…. who gets the other £40,000 per house ???

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