Getting Caerphilly council houses up to scratch will cost £20m
9:53am Monday 18th February 2013 in News
A YEAR after Caerphilly council tenants voted against transferring the area’s housing stock to a social landlord, £20 million has been spent on upgrading Gwent’s last council homes.
The money has been spent on a mixture of repairs, improvements and energy efficiency works and is the first chunk of a £200 million investment needed to bring them up to the required Welsh Housing Quality Standard by 2020.
After months of debate, residents in the local authority’s 11,000 properties went to the polls on February 17, 2012, with 65.2 per cent voting to stay under council control rather than transfer to new body Castell Mynydd. A year on and for the first time in Wales, a housing task group – made up of seven councillors and seven tenantshas been set up, with the aim of helping to implement the £200 million programme.
Of the work already undertaken, £5 million has been spent on energy efficiency work at around 600 properties. These have been fitted with external wall insulation, ventilation, gas condensing boilers, voltage optimisers, while 170 homes have also had new PVC double-glazed windows installed. On top of this, £3 million has been spent on central heating improvements, £2 million on rewiring and around 500 properties have benefited from, new kitchens and bathrooms costing £3 million.
Cllr Gerald Jones, who was a vociferous campaigner for giving tenants the option of remaining under council control, was made cabinet member for housing after the decision was made.
He said he was “thrilled that our tenants put their trust in us”, calling it “a successful first year”.
Of work needed in the year ahead, various groups have been set up, looking into what priorities should be.