Stoke-on-Trent City Council is heralding a transformative period as it embarks on a groundbreaking five-year plan, earmarking a monumental £117 million for the enhancement of over 14,500 council properties. This unprecedented investment is a testament to the council’s unwavering commitment to achieving higher housing standards across the city, ensuring comfortable, warm, and modern living conditions for its residents.
Councillor Chris Robinson, Cabinet Member for Housing, affirmed the significance of this massive five-year capital investment programme. “Our commitment to improving housing standards is unwavering. Starting with a focus on bungalows, we’re dedicated to ensuring these improvements meet the evolving needs of our residents, both now and in the future,”
The magnitude of this investment cannot be overstated. From installing new kitchens and bathrooms to essential upgrades such as central heating, insulation, and enhancements to landscaping, parking areas, external windows, and roofs, the comprehensive works are set to redefine the quality of living for Stoke-on-Trent’s council housing residents.
The deliberate focus on the Older People’s Housing Strategy 2023-2028 makes this investment even more commendable. Recognising the impending increase in the elderly population, the strategy aims to empower the city’s older residents to age in place comfortably. “Our work isn’t merely about bricks and mortar; it’s about enabling our ageing residents to live well at home for longer,” noted Councillor Robinson.
The contrast drawn against the previous administration’s neglect couldn’t be starker. The Conservative administration turned a blind eye to these housing challenges, but the new Labour administration has taken a bold stance, confronting these issues head-on.
Councillor Jane Ashworth, the new Leader of the Council, highlighted the council’s dedication to this cause: “We have an obligation to our residents—a responsibility to ensure that every individual has a safe, warm, and comfortable home. The £117 million investment underscores our commitment to modernising our housing stock, ensuring compliance, safety, and energy efficiency for years to come.”
This landmark investment is structured across critical domains, from ensuring compliance with the Decent Homes Standard, remodelling and extensions to accommodate larger families, and a robust focus on energy efficiency to mitigate rising energy costs. The council’s pledge to achieve a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C by 2030 underlines its commitment to sustainability and reduced living costs for residents.
Councillor Ashworth concluded, “We’re committed to bringing all our homes up to modern-day standards and addressing any backlog of repairs. Our partnership with Unitas is pivotal in delivering these improvements and ensuring that our estate meets contemporary living standards. This investment is not just about refurbishing homes; it’s about building a better future for all our residents.”
With this substantial investment, Stoke-on-Trent is poised to usher in a new era of housing, one where every resident, irrespective of age or background, can take pride in their safe, comfortable, and energy-efficient homes.