As well as our commitment to providing a high quality repairs and maintenance service for our tenants, Homes for Northumberland continues to invest significant resources into the improvement and modernisation of all of our homes across the county through our capital works programme.
The Department for Communities and Local Government’s Decent Homes Standard is a minimum standard of housing provision which aims to ensure a minimum standard of housing conditions for all those housed in the public sector.
Homes for Northumberland completed its Decent Homes
programme in 2007 and all of our homes now meet the standard.
However, work does not stop there.
Recognising that this may not fully meet tenant’s aspirations Homes for Northumberland have, in consultation with our tenants, developed a Decent Homes Plus Standard, which exceeds the government’s minimum requirements.
We continue to carry out work towards meeting this improved standard.
Improving & modernising your home
Our capital works programme is designed to ensure your home is kept up to date and represents a major capital investment in our properties.
It is customer focused, responsive, reliable and efficient.
We continually monitor the performance of our partner contractors and the quality of our improvement works, including the very important issue of resident’s satisfaction with the completed work.
In 2012, Homes for Northumberland launched its five year, £31 million capital works programme at our annual tenants’ exhibitions in Blyth and Alnwick.
Homes for Northumberland are enhancing the delivery of their capital investments programme by utilising the expertise of their in house staff to maximise tenant satisfaction.
The work that the in-house team now undertakes comprises electrical rewires, central heating upgrades, kitchen replacements, bathroom replacements and mini modernisations.
By expanding the repairs and maintenance team, Homes for Northumberland has been able to employ a considerable number of skilled local people and to offer many training opportunities in the form of apprenticeships.
Alongside Homes for Northumberland’s repairs and maintenance team we currently work with partner organisations including:
- MGM Limited ● brickwork and cement render repairs/replacement (incorporating wall tie and lintel replacement where necessary)
- Hodgson Sayers Limited and John Flowers Limited ● roof replacement
For more information on the various schemes we undertake, please click on the links below:
Helping people with a disability
Chronically sick and disabled person's (CSDP) adaptations
Section 2 of HM Government’s Chronically Sick and Disabled Act 1970 (CSDP) places a duty on local authorities that, where a council resident is disabled, there is provision made for the addition to the property of facilities designed to secure greater safety, comfort and convenience for them within the home.
Therefore when we carry out major improvement works to your home, we take into account any additional needs or requirements you may have.
Where possible, we will adjust our standard designs to cater for the specific needs of individuals with disabilities.
We employ our own occupational therapist who is able to advise and recommend the correct form of adaptations needed.
Energy performance certificates (EPCs)
When properties become vacant Homes for Northumberland’s asset management team arrange for consultants to carry out energy performance assessments. These can provide new tenants with energy information regarding their home.
They also provide Homes for Northumberland with a guide to measures we could take to increase the energy efficiency of the property. This could include loft and cavity wall insulation or even external wall insulation.
It may also suggest the use of renewable technology e.g. solar photovoltaic panels or even the use of energy efficient light bulbs to increase the energy efficiency of the building.
Loft and cavity wall insulation
Working in partnership with specialist providers, we upgrade loft insulation to the current recommended depths where necessary.
Working in partnership with specialist providers we monitor the condition of our existing cavity wall insulation and determine whether upgrades are required.
Renewable energy and alternative technologies
As part of Northumberland County Council’s and Homes for Northumberland’s continuing commitment to lowering fuel bills and so reducing the number of our customers experiencing fuel poverty, we have an ongoing programme of solar roof panel installations.
In addition, we have been installing air source heat pumps to properties in off-gas areas, in lieu of gas fuelled condensing combi-boilers as part of our central heating upgrade scheme, since 2011.
How we improve your neighbourhood
In addition to major works to improve your property, Homes for Northumberland also carries out additional work such as creating off-road parking areas, bin storage schemes, driveways and paths and measures to improve the security of your neighbourhood.
When is programmed maintenance on our properties carried out?
Rather than waiting until our properties are in urgent need of repair, wherever possible work will be undertaken in a planned manner based upon ‘just-in-time’ principles. This helps to reduce costs by reducing travelling times for our engineers and tradesmen and achieves economies of scale in ordering materials.
What maintenance is carried out?
- annual servicing of gas appliances
- annual servicing of solid fuel appliance
- annual servicing of air source heat pumps
- annual servicing of solar panels
- periodic electrical testing
- external decoration
How we carry out programmed maintenance
We ensure the effective management and delivery of our planned maintenance programmes by:
- involving tenants in all aspects of the service
- ensuring ‘value for money’ is achieved through an effective procurement strategy
- achieving an appropriate balance between planned and responsive maintenance in line with good practice
- ensuring that schemes are delivered on time and within budget by effective project management
- shorter turnaround from design to delivery on-site
If you would like any further information regarding these issues/services please contact us as below:
Homes for Northumberland
- Telephone: 01670 542 424SMS
- Text messages: 07950 08 09 08 – Type the word Repairs and then your message
- RNID Typetalk service: prefix number 18001