27 October 2020
Homes for the Future - Not Debt for the Future
Green councillor for Nelson ward, Paul Neale, who is the Green Party spokesperson for housing matters said: “Many council houses that were built in the 1960s now need remedial work to make them safe because they are now suffering structural defects. For example, a number of blocks of flats now have problems with their stairwells and walkways because they were originally built to fit a low budget, unlike the 1950s council houses built to higher construction standards. These defects are not only dangerous but are expensive to make safe. The council is estimated to spend £17 million between 2015 and 2022 on replacement or repairs to these structures.
“The council owns thousands of low-rise flats, some of which have now been bought by leaseholders. When repairs are carried out, leaseholders are forced to pay anything from £2500 to £9000 per property. The actual price depends on the number of flats affected and the number of staircases and walkways included in one contract. Leaseholders who may have to raise finance to pay their charges could find themselves landing in serious financial difficulties due to decisions made by the council in the past.
The council has a specific Structural Capital Budget which is used each year for the purpose of identifying and prioritising properties that require structural repairs to ensure the structural integrity of the building. It could be said that this money could be spent on much-needed normally expected upgrades if the buildings had been built properly in the first place.”
Green councillors want to see any new housing built today to be of the highest construction standards so we do not repeat passing the responsibility of defects on to future generations.
Further information from:
Councillor Paul Neale email@example.com