Work has started on an improvement programme that will benefit thousands of social housing tenants across County Durham.
believe housing properties will receive around £138m of internal and external improvements through a partnership with refurbishment specialists ENGIE.
The 10-year project will make homes cheaper to run and ensure high-quality affordable housing provision in scores of communities stretching from rural Weardale to the coast.
Many tenants will benefit from improved kitchens and bathrooms, rewiring, new heating systems, roofing and external works. Homes will receive a package of work tailored to their exact needs.
Homes in Bearpark, Brandon and Bishop Auckland will be among the first to see improvements completed. The programme has been scheduled to ensure minimum disruption and will take place on an area by area basis throughout the length of the contract.
The regeneration arm of ENGIE (formerly Keepmoat Regeneration) was awarded the £138m contract by believe housing, one of the region’s largest housing providers, following a competitive bidding process based on value for money and quality. The company has a long and successful track record of working in the area and extensive experience of delivering major projects, while minimising disturbance to residents.
believe housing Head of Assets, Colin Kingshott, said: “Our latest improvement programme will provide a significant upgrade to thousands of homes right across County Durham. I’m really looking forward to seeing the first refurbished homes completed. I think tenants will be very satisfied indeed with the scope and quality of the improvements carried out.
“ENGIE won this contract not only for their ability to deliver value for money, but also for their approach to minimising inconvenience to our customers during the works.”
ENGIE has committed to ensuring a dedicated resident liaison officer will be on hand for all tenants receiving upgrades to their properties; ensuring the thousands of households receive a bespoke service that best meets their needs.
Andrew McIntosh, Regional Managing Director for ENGIE, said: “This commitment from believe housing solidifies their dedication to improving the lives of local residents. We have worked with closely with them over a number of years and this programme will complement our previous refurbishment projects in the area.
“The wide scale scope of this programme is commonplace for our organisation and we have a very strategic and personal approach, which ensures minimal disruption for tenants. Over the next 10 years, we will see key external improvements on social housing in the region; but more importantly, the enhanced utilities will play a key role on enriching the lives of local people and giving them a home to be proud of.”
Picture above: Kim Tillotson from believe housing, centre, with Andy Sowerby, left, and Graeme Dougherty, right, from ENGIE.