Decent homes money is less than expected

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HOUSING bosses will receive more than £30 million less than they had expected to complete improvement works on Doncaster Council homes.

The council and the firm which manages the properties, St Leger Homes, had been originally expecting £78 million to complete the Decent Homes programme.

But they have received a funding allocation of £46.9 million, the Government has announced.

Housing bosses are now looking at how the settlement will affect work to renovate homes across the borough.

Coun Patrick Wilson, Doncaster Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “St Leger Homes and the council are working together to identify the impact of Government reductions in the Decent Homes Programme.

“As soon as we get a clearer picture of how this funding cut affects the published decency programme we will be consulting with our tenants and councillors on the options available.

“I would also like to add that over the next four years we will continue to deliver a decency programme in the fairest way possible for our tenants.”

Housing minister Grant Shapps said the funding would protect some of the most vulnerable people in society.

St Leger Homes manages 20,795 homes for the council.

At the start of this month, 16,350 of those properties had received either full Decent Homes improvement work or partial works, such as new windows and doors.

So far, 11,599 homes have received the full Decent Homes treatment and a further 4,751 have received some improvement work, where tenants may have declined part of the work or where customers have received windows and doors but not yet received the rest.

But the company’s figures reveal 4,445 homes haven’t received Decent Homes work yet.

That also includes tenants who have declined the improvement work.

When those customers are removed from the figures, 2,866 homes still have had no work carried out.

On January 31, there were still 7,617 properties classed under government standards as non-decent.

St Leger Homes says examples of non-decent homes can be those with smaller and older kitchens, kitchens over 20 years old, bathrooms over 30 years old, and homes in need of additional insulation.

The Decent Homes Programme will run until the 2014/15 financial year.

St Leger Homes was set up in 2005 as a condition of a deal which saw the Government promise around £300 million to fund the Decent Homes work.

The programme was described as representing the biggest upgrading ever to council homes in Doncaster.