News from Bolton at Home
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How we’re investing £3m to prevent damp and mould issues
In June this year, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority received £15m from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to improve the quality of social housing.
Social housing providers across the city region were invited to apply for a share of the Social Housing Quality Fund. We were among the successful applicants and will receive £2.3m, which we’ll increase to £3m, to improve 934 homes.
We’ve put together a Q&A to explain how we’ll use this money.
How will we use the funding?
We’ll split the money into two parts.
We’ll use part of it on improvement works to remove underlying causes of damp, condensation and mould in 715 homes. We’ve identified this work from previous customer repair requests.
We’ll use the rest on thermal improvements and improved ventilation in 219 homes. This could include enhanced insulation, ventilation and heating systems.
How have we decided which homes will benefit from the funding?
The 934 homes selected are where we’ve identified root causes of damp, condensation and mould, and which meet the criteria for the funding.
Our improvement works on these homes will result in less risk of damp, condensation and mould issues in the future.
We’ll continue to repair and invest across all our homes to tackle and prevent damp, condensation and mould issues as needed. This work will just sit outside how we use the Social Housing Quality Fund money.
When will we do the work?
We expect to start work from the beginning of October 2023.
So that we can do all of the work that’s involved, and get on with it quickly, we’ve put work out to tender where we need contractor support.
Once we’ve awarded this contract, we’ll write to our customers with details of what work will take place and when.
We aim to complete all improvement works by 31 March 2024.
When will tenants see the impact of this work?
Tenants will see the impact of remedial repairs and some of our improvement works very quickly.
For some of the improvement works, tenants will feel the benefits over a longer period of time.
What do tenants need to do?
Nothing. We’ve written to our 934 tenants to notify and inform you about the improvement works, and this letter should land with you soon if you haven’t already received it.
Once we’ve appointed a contractor, we’ll write again with an update on the work we’ll do and when.
Can tenants apply to benefit from this funding?
It’s not the type of funding or a programme of works that tenants can apply for.
However, we can help you to apply for any benefits or grants you might be eligible for, and we can provide support to reduce your household bills and make your money go further. You can find more information here: www.boltonathome.org.uk/cost-of-living
What about other homes that have issues with damp, condensation and mould?
Homes with existing reports of damp, condensation and mould issues that haven’t been included in this specific programme of works are still a priority for us and we’ll respond to them.
What should I do if I’m experiencing damp, condensation and mould issues at home?
If you’re concerned, please contact us on 01204 328000.
You might also find this section of our website helpful: www.boltonathome.org.uk/damp-condensation-mould. It includes actions we’re taking to address any issues you might raise with us, information on the common causes and things we can all do to prevent or treat issues, and what to do if you need support.
Why is damp, condensation and mould an issue like it is?
Social housing providers across the country are facing one of the biggest challenges our sector has seen due to aging housing stock and economic issues impacting the level of investment housing providers are able to make.
The cost of living pressures, including higher fuel costs, are also leading to underheated homes in some cases, which can contribute to damp and mould issues.
What have we been doing about it?
We understand that living with damp, condensation and mould can be distressing and concerning, and we’re committed to ensuring our homes provide a safe, dry and warm place to live.
To do this we’ve reviewed, and we’ll continue to review, the way we approach reports of damp, condensation and mould. This now includes us doing initial visits to complete mould cleans and we’ve introduced a better system of managing reported issues. We’ve also been recruiting additional inspectors, surveyors and maintenance operatives, and investing in planned improvements such as enhanced insulation, ventilation, heating systems and remedial works. Our successful application for Social Housing Quality Fund money is also a significant step in achieving our commitment.
How are we tackling the backlog of other repairs that aren’t damp or mould related?
Repairs outside of damp, condensation and mould are still very much a priority for us.
Our dedicated Backlog Team has made great progress in clearing the of backlog repairs accumulated during the pandemic, and we’ll continue to work hard to respond to all tenants with outstanding repair needs.
Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you think you could use our help. It's best to call us on 01204 328000. You can find other ways to contact us here: www.boltonathome.org.uk/contact-us. Take care.