Work is starting this month (February) on the council’s £40 million external upgrading scheme for its housing stock. The four-year external works programme will see roofs, windows (where single-glazed or externally beaded double-glazed) and wooden front and rear doors replaced as well as the renewal of render and exterior paintwork and environmental improvements such as new fencing and landscaping. Existing insulation will also be reviewed and improved to make homes warmer and minimise fuel bills for residents.
Lovell is working on homes in the north of the borough, refurbishing properties in Tipton, Wednesbury and West Bromwich while contractor Vinci has been appointed to the southern area, made up of Rowley, Oldbury and Smethwick.
Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, Sandwell’s cabinet member for housing, says: “This latest phase of investment in our council homes will see thousands of tenants benefiting from these external improvements which also include replacing all wooden front and rear doors with composite doors providing better insulation and improved security.
“This scheme is part of the council’s £485 million ten-year Housing Investment Programme which focuses on improving the council’s existing housing stock as well as building new council homes.”
Lovell regional refurbishment director Carl Yale says: “Having worked closely with the council and the local community to modernise and improve local council homes since 2005, we’re delighted to be continuing that relationship through this important new contract which will focus on external envelope improvements. The programme will help tackle fuel poverty, and deliver homes which are warmer and more secure for residents.
“As a company with a strong record in delivering large-scale regeneration programmes, we’re proud to be helping the council deliver this significant investment in its housing stock and the area as a whole, bringing about major improvements in people’s lives and for local businesses. We strongly believe in engaging and benefitting the wider area wherever we work and are excited by the training opportunities and community initiatives that we will also be creating through the housing improvement programme.” Lovell is set to take on three new apprentices over the course of the project as well as providing opportunities for existing apprentices to work on the scheme. The refurbishment programme will also create a number of new jobs with Lovell set to work closely with Sandwell Council’s ‘Think Local’ employment team to ensure that opportunities are made available to local people. Activities will also be organised with local schools and colleges.