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Continued investment in Public Sector Housing 12 March 2007

The Department of Local Government and the Environment is seeking Tynwald approval to a £4.50m investment in the planned maintenance of its public sector housing stock.

The Department commenced work on improving its 1200 public sector homes, which are spread around the Island, almost three years ago. To date it has spent £3.35m on installing central heating, new doors and windows, and upgrading roofs, electrics and the external environment on some estates.

Mr Juan Watterson MHK who is responsible for Estates and Housing said

“I am pleased with the progress that has been made, particularly with central heating but I am keen to accelerate the programme so that all our tenants can live in homes that are well insulated, warm and have modern facilities. This bid for further funding will enable the current programme to be substantially completed by 2010. He went on to say. In addition to this funding we are using our revenue budgets to install cavity wall insulation and top up roof space insulation in suitable properties. We will commence this work in the newer parts of Clagh Vane, later this month and roll out the programme to other homes over the next year or so. I think it is essential that we invest in upgrading insulation on all Department and Local Authority public sector homes as a matter of urgency because of the cost of fuel and the Government’s commitment to reducing CO2 emissions."

Richard Senior, Director of Estates and Housing said

“Over 800 homes will be affected by the programme. There will be a shift in emphasis during 2007 towards updating kitchens and bathrooms and bringing electrical installations up to modern standards”.

Most of the housing stock owned by the Department is between 30 and 60 years old. Around 300 of these older homes are on the larger estates in Jurby, Janet’s Corner and Clagh Vane and are subject to separate funding, for major refurbishment or redevelopment. The total funding within the Government’s capital programme for these three estates amounts to £32m with the total investment in the Department’s stock rising to over £42m.

Richard Senior also said

“It is essential that our tenants are informed of and consulted about these proposals. We will be publishing our three year planned maintenance programme early in April and will update tenants on a regular basis. We will also continue to consult with tenants on the three major refurbishment and redevelopment projects”.

Minister John Shimmin MHK stated

“This significant investment in my Department’s housing has to be seen in context of the total funding allocated to public sector homes. A further £98m is programmed to be spent on local authority public sector housing over the next five years which will bring the total commitment over this period to £140m. This is on top of the £95m already spent over the last five years.
These impressive figures show that the Department, Treasury and Government are determined to bring all public sector homes up to modern day standards as quickly as possible”.

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