Salford homes given £5m HCA funding

Michael Hunt

Salford City Council has been given £5m from the Homes & Communities Agency to help bring homes in central Salford and Swinton up to the Government's Decent Homes standard by 2015.

A total of £5m has been brought forward to 2010/11 by the HCA with an extra £4m being provided by the city council in the same period for Decent Homes investment.

The news comes after Salix Homes, which manages the city council's housing stock, achieved a two-star rating in its recent Audit Commission inspection.

The rating means that Salix Homes has been given entry onto the Government's Decent Homes programme giving it access to £70m to improve homes and communities over the next five years.

The city council said that this will see work start on over 700 homes in Broughton, Irwell Riverside and Ordsall over the coming months and that this year's investment is targeted on the following estates:

  • Ordsall Lane
  • Broadway
  • Lissadel Street
  • London Street
  • Racecourse
  • Regent Park
  • Spike Island
  • Duchy
  • Islington estate

A further £15m of Government funding is due to be released by the Homes & Communities Agency over the next year when there will be consultations with residents from further estates in Swinton and central Salford.

Residents will be consulted on improvements to their homes from the following estates:

  • Beechfarm, Swinton
  • Blackfriars Court
  • Alexander Gardens
  • Muirhead Court
  • Springbank

The Government's Decent Homes funding is being made available over the next five years and further access to the money is expected to be confirmed by the HCA in stages.

The Decent Homes programme has been developed with residents to ensure that investment is targeted initially in areas where it is most needed and causes minimum disruption.

The Government's standard requires properties to be warm, weatherproof and having reasonably modern facilities.

Work to homes will include kitchen and bathroom refurbishments, doubled glazed windows, new doors, central heating and wall and loft insulations.

The city council said investment in homes in Pendleton is being delivered through a separate multi-million pound Private Finance Initiative project which is to start next year.

Paul Walker, Salford City Council's strategic director for sustainable regeneration, said: "This is excellent news and it means that we can restart work on delivering our Decent Homes programme, making real improvements to people's homes and their quality of life.

"The Audit Commission's inspection measures housing services against national standards and its rating of Salix Homes as 'good' is confirmation that our tenants are getting quality housing services that meet people's needs.

"The inspection results give Salford access to £70m to improve homes and communities over the next five years and it will be put towards improvements for around 8,000 homes for local people."

Kevin Scarlett, chief executive of Salix Homes, added: "This is the first instalment of a £70m contribution from the government in helping to make all council homes decent in central Salford, Beechfarm and Rainsough Brow by 2015.

"Bringing forward some of the funding means we can start work on improving council homes right away."

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