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Welsh Housing Quality Standard - Capital Programme update

The Council has the key aim to improve the Council housing stock and estates up to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard by 2020.

Council housing improvements Welsh Government logo

A considerable amount of work has been undertaken already  to achieve this standard in the 13,503 properties owned and managed by the Council and progress is being made to ensure full achievement of the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) by 2020. A significant amount of money has already been spent on the improvements and a further £200m is planned between now and 2020. The works are part funded by the Welsh Government and there are a number of programmes, and some properties may need more work than others to bring them up to the standard.  

When improvement work is set to begin, tenants will be notified individually in advance on what  is planned for their home including likely start dates, what they can expect and who the contractor will be.

Every year around February, the Council sets the budget for the next financial year and agrees the work that will be undertaken.

The following information provides details of the work that has been completed so far and future planned work in the various areas.

In a good state of repair

Wind and weatherproofing - This is a scheme that is designed to bring together a number of repairs to homes in a single scheme.  The work frequently includes new roofs, loft insulation, weatherboards, guttering, wall ties, wall insulation and window sills. Since April 2010, 2,378 properties have received wind and weatherproofing improvements and a further 1,863 properties are due receive this work over the next 4 years. A programme is also currently underway to improve the high rise blocks at Matthew Street, Clyne Court and Jeffrey's Court where the work includes recladding, roofing, replacement windows, improvements to communal areas, new kitchens and bathrooms.

The table below shows the number of properties in the wind and weatherproofing work programme for the financial years from 2014 -2016 (the financial year runs from April - March).  This includes work completed during 2014, work ongoing/almost complete for 2015 and work commencing in 2016.  

Area

2014

2015

2016

Penlan

112

148

55

Waun Wen

40

27

 

Gendros

31

27

 

Caemawr

42

53

37

Waunarlwydd

29

 

 

Penllergaer

 

 

28

Llanllienwen - over 3 years

 

177

 

Mayhill

137

122

192

McRitchie Place - over 2 years

 

 

71

West Cross

 

 

62

Sketty

 

 

27

Matthew Street, Town Centre

Clyne Court, Sketty

Jeffreys Court, Penlan

 

Ongoing

 

External Wall Insulation (EWI) is cladding which helps keep properties warm. All the Wind and Weatherproofing schemes will use EWI which will help to bring  heating bills down and ensures the property stays warm for longer. The aim is to also improve the external appearance of the property and of the  streets and general neighbourhood.

Roofing

2,290 properties have had new roofs since April 2010. New schemes are planned over the next 4 years to improve weather protection. A further 288 properties are scheduled for roofs in 2016/2017 and 5 blocks of low rise flats.

This table shows the areas where schemes are planned for 2016 to 2019

Pitched Roof

Areas

2016

2017

2018 

2019

Blaenymaes

112

105

              

             

Clase (Ewenny Place)

117

 

 

 

Sketty Flats

5 blocks

 

 

 

Clay Roofs Townhill

 

37

 

 

Wimpey No Fines Penlan

59

 

 

 

Three Crosses & Llangennith

 

22

 

 

Penyrheol, Gorseinon

 

 

 

53

Flat Roof Renewal

Areas

2016

2017

2018

2019

Croft St and High Street (Low Rise Flats)

 

2 blocks

 

 

Rheidol Court

 

 50

 

 

Chimneys scheme

Chimneys are usually removed where roof renewal  or wind and weatherproofing schemes take place but if not, they are placed in a separate chimney scheme.

In 2014, 47 chimneys with a priority for removal were taken down and a further 118 were scheduled for 2015 with further properties added as required.  In 2016, 221 chimneys are to be removed or repaired.

Balconies

A total of 399 balconies have been repaired or upgraded so far with a further 48 scheduled in the 2015/2016 programme.

Door renewal

The Door Renewal programme is nearly complete with 9,571 properties having had new uPVC or fire safety doors installed since April 2010.

Sometimes it is difficult to gain access to fit new doors. If you get a message advising you that a new door is to be fitted, please contact your District Housing Office or the number on the card or letter. This work will not take long and the door will improve your security and help keep your property warmer.  If you have difficulties being able to be at home for this work, check with the staff to see what can be done, they will do their best to help and advise you.

Structural repairs

A number of structural repairs are needed on Council estates including work to retaining walls and drainage improvements. £300,000 has been set aside to carry out this work during 2016/17. 

Safe and secure

Fire safety

Considerable work is being done to enhance fire safety in blocks of flats and sheltered complexes which includes fire doors, emergency lighting and new improved signage. 2,584 of the doors replaced since April 2010 were fire doors improving the fire safety in flats opening out onto communal areas. Flat doors have been replaced to a higher standard and will provide 60 minute protection for residents. Other fire safety work includes work to sheltered accommodation communal areas and community rooms, installation of sprinklers in some complexes and new fire alarm systems. Four complexes have had sprinklers installed, which enhances the fire safety in the blocks.

Voice entry systems

From 2014 to 2018, 79 communal blocks will benefit from having voice entry systems fitted or upgraded.  In 2015 these schemes have taken place in Morriston, Penlan and Town Centre and automatic doors have been fitted in the sheltered complexes at Plas Melyn, Laugharne Court and Llys Gwalia.  The addition of robust doors to the blocks will enhance security and allow tenants to control who enters the blocks preventing vandalism and harassment.

Adequately heated

Heating

Boilers are renewed as part of a planned programme with the oldest systems treated as a priority. The plan is for all properties to have efficient combi boilers with 9,854 installed so far.

Conversions

Tenants are offered the option to switch heating fuels to either gas or oil if they have coal or electric. 12 properties are on the list to be converted in 2016 and since April 2010, 108 properties have received fuel conversions.

Upgrades to heating systems are also offered. Tenants can request small items of work such as timer clocks, room thermostats or a radiator for a room if it does not already have one. There are 77 properties on the 2016 scheme for an upgrade.

Up to date kitchens and bathrooms

Kitchens and bathrooms programme

A major part of improving properties to meet the Welsh Housing Quality Standard, is the installation of new kitchens and bathrooms in properties that need them.  In the last 4 years 742 properties have had new kitchens and 1,066 properties have had new bathrooms.  Depending on individual needs, installations may be specially adapted and tenants with particular medical needs will be able to discuss this with staff when they visit.

A further 1,820 properties are scheduled for 2016 with increasing numbers in the years following. 

The following tables show the areas and number of properties included in the kitchen and bathroom scheme for 2016 and 2017:

2016

Area

Number of properties

Trallwn

270

Bonymaen

205

Pentrechwyth

171

Winch Wen

393

Port Tennant

177

St Thomas

137

Hollett Road

126

Brondeg Crescent Area

194

Samuel Crescent Area

316

Arennig Road Area

378

 

2017

Area

Number of properties

Birchgrove

229

Caemawr

183

Clase

616

Clydach

451

Craigcefnparc

50

Cwm Felin Fach

221

Cwmryhdyceirw              

124

Llanllienwen

220

Penllergaer

88

Pontardulais

280

For all kitchen and bathroom schemes the boilers are brought up to date with combi boilers if not already fitted.  Also, rewires will be done if the wiring is out of date but generally they will rewire the kitchen area only to add sockets and fit extractor fans.  It is intended all areas will have new up to date kitchens and bathrooms by 2020.

Smoke alarms

6,748 properties have had new hard wired smoke alarms fitted since 2010, and the Council aims to ensure all homes have at least two working smoke alarms.  The Council check these annually as part of its annual heating service however, you should always regularly test your alarms to see if they are working.  If you have any concerns contact the Housing Repairs Call Centre or your District Housing Office.

Electrical testing and rewiring

All of the Council's properties are tested for electrical safety every 10 years.  8,464 properties have been tested since /2010.  If the electrics do not pass the test then the property has to be rewired.  These safety tests are a crucial area of work and it is important to allow access for this to be carried out.  In addition to electrical testing work, properties are also rewired every 30 years.  2,679 properties have been rewired since April 2010.

The wiring needs to be safe but if your property has not been rewired for 30 years then there may be too few sockets for your use and the position of sockets may not be practical for the amount of electrical equipment now used in most homes.  The rewire will improve this and bring the property up to date.

Located in safe and attractive environments

External facilities scheme

This scheme is intended to ensure all the WHQS guidelines are met and for gardens to be safe and suitable for use. The scheme will also include the repair or replacement of steps.

The scheme will also include an inspection of stores and garden structures, ensure boundaries are stable, and renew meter boxes where they are damaged or missing.  Not all of this will be applicable in every property so an assessment will be carried out and anything needed will be included.

The scheme has been started in the Gorseinon area with 100 properties benefitting from the improvements.  A further 100 properties are being worked on in the Gower View Road Area.

In 2016, the scheme will include other parts of Gorseinon including the Brynamlwg Road Area and the Gorseinon East Area.

In 2017, areas in Loughor, Caergynydd Road and Cil y Coed area will be included and in Penlan, the John Penry Crescent area will be part of the scheme.

Also included in this work are individual meter boxes where these are reported to the District Housing Office and added to the following year's programme.  In 2016, 115 properties are on this list with 162 having been done in 2015.

Cyclical repairs scheme

The aim of this programme is to undertake work to those building elements that require regular maintenance.

The type of work planned for 2016 includes servicing windows to ensure they are in good repair, checking stairs to ensure handrails and the stairs are safe and in good condition, checking and clearing rainwater guttering and gullies, fitting new meter box covers over external gas and electric meters and painting communal areas.

In 2015, 1,101 properties were included in areas such as Townhill and Gorseinon.

If you have any questions or would like information about the schemes affecting your property, please contact your District Housing Office in the first instance.

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