Almost £600,000 to be spent on damp and fire safety works in Nottingham council homes

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Just under £600,000 is being spent on urgent damp and fire safety works in Nottingham City Council homes.

The money will also be spent on housing repair work and structural improvements amid an increasing number of disrepair claims.

Nottingham City Homes was brought back under the full control of the council last April, and the investment on urgent work is planned following the introduction of new legislation.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

New fire safety regulations came into force in January last year, as part of recommendations made in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry report, while there has been a crackdown on damp and mould under new legislation following the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak, who died in December 2020 from a respiratory condition caused by exposure to mould in his Rochdale council home.

Nottingham City Council is spending nearly £600,000 on damp and fire safey works on its council houses. Photo: OtherNottingham City Council is spending nearly £600,000 on damp and fire safey works on its council houses. Photo: Other
Nottingham City Council is spending nearly £600,000 on damp and fire safey works on its council houses. Photo: Other

Social landlords will be required to investigate and fix problems with mould within strict time limits, and additional powers will be given to the Housing Ombudsman in amendments to the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill.

According to council delegated decision documents, £399,000 will be paid to the Lovell Partnership to deliver ‘fire safety works, damp and mould works, disrepair works and structural works’.

The same amount will also be awarded to the United Living Group for the works.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Documents add the works are classed as ‘urgent and should not be unduly delayed’.

Read More
Nottingham city councillor says Government-imposed improvement board 'has failed...

Lovell has been behind council home projects in Bestwood, while United Living was recently contracted to deliver housing in Trent Lane.

The money for the works will come from the council’s Housing Revenue Account (HRA)..

According to a 30-year HRA business plan document, published this year, fire safety works and disrepair claims will have a significant impact on planned spending.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Repairs and maintenance costs have increased substantially largely due to inflation.

It is assumed that for 2024-25, repairs and maintenance inflation will increase by 15 per cent but will reduce to three per cent in subsequent years.

The costs of materials have risen 43 per cent in two years, while labour costs are up by nearly 10 per cent, the documents say.

As a result a rent and service charge increase was recently announced and approved during an executive board meeting on February 13.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Rents for council homes will rise by 7.7 per cent from April 2024, alongside a 6.7 per cent increase in service charges and a seven per cent increase in garage rents.

Documents add: “The rent and service charge increases are necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of the HRA budget and the investment needed to maintain properties to required regulatory standards.

“The current level of disrepair claims are a reflection of underinvestment in the past and will require a substantial amount of investment in the future.”

Approval was also recently given so the authority could purchase 60 former council houses that have been previously purchased under the Right To Buy scheme.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The authority will buy the properties with money from both the HRA, and funds from the receipt of the sale of council houses received from the Government.

Coun Jay Hayes (Lab) the housing portfolio holder, said: “The investment in these homes will allow us to reduce the number of people on the waiting list and help increase the number of council homes we can let at rents people can afford across Nottingham.”