Council tenants living in Wrexham are taking greater pride in their homes following a multi-million pound investment to improve them, it has been claimed.
The Welsh Government has previously introduced strict new standards which require local authorities to bring their housing stock up to scratch before the end of next year.
Wrexham Council spent £48.1 million on improvements last year alone on enhancements, such as new kitchens, bathrooms and roofing.
In total, it has allocated £136m over a five-year period ending in 2023 to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard Programme, which is funded by a combination of rent income, borrowed money and government grants – not your council tax.
Cllr David Griffiths, Wrexham’s lead member for housing, hailed the work carried out by the authority in the last 12 months which has seen it hit four of its six targets.
Meanwhile, those relating to electrical rewiring and roofing were only missed by a single-figure percentage.
Cllr Griffiths: “With a lot of the officers that come in, we’re sometimes too quick to condemn them.
“I have to say that we’re coming out the other end now and getting an awful lot of praise.
“We have had a success when we’ve done the houses and brought them up to standard.
“People are starting to respect the homes they’re living in now and that’s showing.
“There is a lot of work being done and the thanks is very much welcomed by staff.”
During the last 12 months the council has completed more than a thousand new roofs, 965 rewiring jobs and 620 central heating units.
Meanwhile, 318 bathrooms and just under 300 kitchens were installed, along with external wall insulation in 344 properties.
In total, the council is responsible for managing approximately 11,100 homes across the county borough.
Cllr Griffiths acknowledged that the work had caused some disruption for residents.
However, it received a largely positive response at a meeting of the authority’s homes and environment committee held yesterday
Cllr Alun Jenkins said: “I wanted to say a big congratulations to the department on the excellent work that’s being done.
“Having been given a quarter of a billion pounds over the last seven years, you’ve been given the means by which you’ve been able to do all these houses and we’re now a stone’s throw from when all of the programme will have been completed.
“We know that there are difficulties, and you can’t always achieve some, but there’s no doubt that by 2020 the work will have been done.”
The next phase of improvements will see new windows and doors installed in council properties over the next 18 months.
Councillors voted to note the progress made at the end of the meeting and will receive another update in a year’s time.
By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter (more here on the LDR scheme).
Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email News@Wrexham.com