Basildon: Cash Boost For Council Homes

More than £100 million is going to be spent on council houses in Basildon over the next four years.

The investment was announced at cabinet meeting last night (Thursday, February 7).

It includes £37 million of decent homes funding, £6 million on existing housing stock in 2016/17 and £1 million on communal heating systems that will be brought forward by a year to mitigate earlier increases in energy prices.

A further £2 million will be spent improving improving council estates, while £2 million will also be spent building new and affordable homes.

A major allowance of £12m per year for the repairs service has also been identified, along with £500,000 a year towards building new affordable homes.

Deputy Leader of Basildon Council, Councillor Phil Turner, said: "The previous Government withheld millions from, our tenants and made them pay money back to the Treasury that should have gone into improving their homes and to help improve their way of life.

"However today's government recognises the importance of investing in our homes and our tenants. As a result over £100m will be invested in Basildon's housing stock in the next four years and by not having to give our rent money back (negative subsidy), we are the master of our own destiny and can invest where we need to for the benefit of our residents.

"These investments will give help towards giving every tenant a decent, efficiently heated home set in a clean and pleasant environment and demonstrate our commitment to providing value for money despite the extremely challenging economic climate which continues to be a thorn in the side of this authority."

He added said: "These are tough times and we have to make tough choices. Large increases in energy prices in recent years have hit everybody hard. It is outrageous that large global energy companies continue to fleece the nation.

"These rises in heating charges are significant but do of course reflect actual consumption. But I am concerned by the increases and to try to help mitigate them, we will look at bringing forward investment in our heating systems at sheltered schemes."