Tenants at a sheltered housing scheme in Wrexham have become the latest to benefit from improvement works to their properties.
A ‘major’ project modernising council properties is currently being undertaken by the local authority, with improvements works taking place on thousands of homes across the county borough.
The work is being carried out to ensure Wrexham Council achieve the Welsh Government’s Welsh Housing Quality Standard by 2020.
Work installing new kitchens and bathrooms has recently been carried out by contractor, GM Jones at St Michael’s Sheltered Housing scheme in Ruabon – which is made up of 38 individual properties.
Unlike a nursing home, the council’s sheltered housing schemes feature self-contained flats, bedsits or bungalows with their own kitchens and bathrooms. A warden and a community alarm centre also provide 24-hour cover in the case of emergencies.
They are aimed at people of retirement age who would like to retain their independence but would benefit from someone to call in an emergency.
The works have been welcomed by tenants St Michael’s Sheltered Housing, who say they are pleased with the end results.
Mr Tom Kenmuir and Mrs Julie Kenmuir, who live at St Michael’s, welcomed the improvement work. Mrs Kenmuir said: “It can be quite a big job having a new kitchen installed but to be fair the workers here were great. Very friendly and polite.
“The hardest part is while they are taking out the old kitchen, but once that’s’ done and you start seeing the new kitchen coming together things start getting much easier.
“We’re really pleased with how it looks now and very happy that we agreed to have it done. We were able to choose from a list of colours and designs to get it how we wanted and it’s very modern and good quality. This should last us for many years now.”
Kitchen and bathrooms replacements are just one part of the modernisation project being carried out, with other improvement works (where required) including: electrical rewires, new central heating systems, external wall insulation, re-roofing work and improvements to gardens and external areas such as paths and fencing.
Local Member for Ruabon, Cllr Dana Davies, said: “I’m very pleased that the improvement work programme has now reached Ruabon and that tenants here have been able to benefit from modernisation work to their homes.
“Work on this scale can present many challenges but it is so important that homes are made fit for the future and the feedback from tenants such as those at St Michael’s has been very positive so this is very good news for social housing in Wrexham.”
Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Pritchard, added: “We’ve invested record amounts on improving homes over the last few years, including £56.4m in 2017/18 alone.
“This has allowed us to bring thousands of properties up to a higher standard than ever before and it’s something we should be very proud of.
“This work is set to continue until all our tenants are able to live in homes which are safe, modern, comfortable, and fit for the future.”
The funding for the work to achieve the Welsh Housing Quality Standard includes a £7.5m Major Repairs Allowance (MRA) grant, which is awarded to local authorities, annually, to help them carry out the necessary improvement work to meet the standard.
For more information on the work being carried out to achieve the Welsh Housing Quality Standard visit the council website.
If you think you or someone you know might benefit form living in sheltered housing take a look at our section on retirement accommodation.