Planned repairs and improvements

Here you will find out about planned repairs and improvements to our housing stock and our architectural service.

As well as our commitment to providing a high quality repairs and maintenance service for our tenants, Northumberland County Council continues to invest significant resources into the improvement and modernisation of all of our homes across the county through our capital works programme.

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 April 2018, Northumberland County Council launched an £80m, eight-year investment plan to continue to roll out improvements across its housing stock.
The plan will see the number of new kitchens fitted per year, double to 450. Up to 200 homes will have new bathrooms every year and 400 new heating systems will be installed.
 

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.

Please contact the CSDP Occ therapist for futher information -  tel number is 01670 536400

Energy performance certificates (EPCs)

When properties become vacant Northumberland County Council'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 they council 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 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, Northumberland County Council 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
The government introduced its Decent Homes Guidance for Local Authorities and Registered Social Landlords in 2001.

This set a target to ensure that all social housing meets set standards of decency by 2010.

A decent home is one that meets all of the following four criteria:
  • It meets the current statutory minimum standard for housing.
  • Is in a reasonable state of repair.
  • It has reasonably modern facilities and services.
  • It provides a reasonable degree of thermal comfort.
You can view the government’s Decent Homes guidance here.

 

We completed our Decent Homes programme in 2007.

All of our homes now meet the standard. However, work does not stop there as we need to ensure that all our homes continue to meet the Decent Homes Standard.

We continue to carry out improvements, working towards our Decent Homes Plus Standard, which has been developed in consultation with our tenants.