Tens of millions of pounds more earmarked for housing improvements

Published: Thursday, January 17, 2019

Council estate residents in Wandsworth are set to benefit from a series of major improvements to their homes and neighbourhoods worth more than £450m over the next four years.

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An additional £93m is poised to be added to the borough’s existing £361m housing estate improvement and house building programme between now and April 2023.

Councillors will be asked to approve this additional funding when they discuss future housing estate budgets at a meeting on Thursday night.

If approved, this enhanced programme of investment would mean an extra £33m to be spent on day to day repairs and improvements to homes, while an additional £57m is earmarked for estate regeneration and for building 1,000 new homes.

Cllr Caddy: A long and sustained record
of investing heavily in local housing estates

This extra money means that a number of projects can be brought forward including new windows at Denmead and Dunbridge Houses on the Alton estate, new windows at blocks in Augustus Road, Southfields, a new roof and windows at Melrose Court in east Putney, new heating and hot water boilers at the Orchard and Southmead estates in West Hill and at Totterdown Fields in Tooting.

It means upgrades to lifts will happen sooner at Caistor House, Ivanhoe House and Rokeby House on Balham’s Lochinvar estate, at All Saints Court on the Lurline Gardens estate in Battersea, at Newtown Court and Rollo Court on Battersea’s Rollo estate and at Bembridge House and Binstead House
on Wandsworth’s Wendlesworth estate.

It also means that CCTV and entrycall security systems can be upgraded earlier in parts of Roehampton’s Alton estate, Battersea’s Surrey Lane estate and also at the Cunliffe estate in Tooting.

This enhanced level of funding means that between now and April 2023 at least £112m will be spent on major refurbishment projects, £14m on new lift systems, £12m on heating and hot water upgrades and repairs, £3.6m on sheltered housing improvements, and £4.5m on adaptations for disabled residents.

In addition the council will continue with its ambitious plans for major regeneration and new build schemes in the borough, regenerating local estates to provide better quality homes and neighbourhoods and also on building new affordable homes for rent and shared ownership.

The total level of housing investment in future years is also likely to increase as additional projects are added to the capital programme in forthcoming budgets.

High quality new council built homes on Battersea's Rollo Estate

At the same time as approving this extra capital investment councillors at Thursday’s meeting will also be asked to approve plans to reduce council rents by a minimum of one per cent from April this year.

For the average weekly council rent across the borough of £125, this represents a reduction of at least £1.25 a week. This compares to an average rent in the private sector in Wandsworth of £216.

Wandsworth's cabinet member for housing Cllr Kim Caddy said: “We have unveiled a huge programme of improvements to the borough’s council estates. This investment will make a big difference to the daily lives of tens of thousands of people.

“People living on our estates will benefit from major upgrades to lighting, heating and security around their homes. Many blocks will also get brand new roofs, windows and lifts and there will be new boilers plus kitchens and bathrooms fitted in a large number of properties.

“And at the same time as these improvements are being rolled out, we are also reducing rents for our tenants on low incomes in our affordable and social rent properties.

“The council has a long and sustained record of investing heavily in local housing estates to ensure that our residents live in good quality accommodation. These plans for the next four years show that picture continuing.”