‘Damp’ homes in housing estate to be refurbished with new insulation

Reporter: Charlotte Green, Local Democracy Reporter
Date published: 25 November 2020

A council-owned housing estate where residents complain of ‘damp’ 1950s homes is to undergo a major refurbishment with new insulation.

Oldham’s cabinet has agreed to implement Green Homes grant funding, which will see 67 homes on the Crossley Estate in Chadderton revamped.

The homes will be fitted with external wall insulation to improve energy efficiency, reduce fuel poverty and prevent issues relating to condensation and damp. 

And as part of the Green Homes scheme, residents in properties all across the borough will get the chance to spend £10k in grant funding to install energy efficiency measures in their homes.

The grants can be used towards the cost of installing insulation, including external wall, loft and cavity wall insulation, and low carbon heating systems.

Councillor Hannah Roberts, cabinet member for housing, said: “We’re really pleased to have secured this funding for residents to make their homes better and warmer places to live. 

“Times are really difficult at the moment so initiatives like this will have a big impact in cutting fuel bills whilst also benefiting the environment.”

Landlords – including local authorities – can also receive a Green Homes grant of up to £5k per property to make improvements to homes which they own. 

This includes the Crossley Estate which includes houses known as ‘Wimpey No Fines’.

Built in the 1950s during the post-war housing era, they were mass-produced and have a solid concrete outer wall which makes them difficult to heat and insulate. 

The Green Homes grant funding will build on previous energy efficiency schemes implemented in the homes in 2011 – boosting the level of insulation to a gold standard. 

Coun Eddie Moores, who represents Chadderton Central, told the cabinet meeting he was ‘very pleased’ that the plans were being agreed.

“Since the completion of the original scheme the ward councillors have continued to receive representations from residents regarding issues of damp and heating with these properties,” he said. 

Improving the insulation should result in ‘reduced fuel bills, warmer homes and benefit the health of residents’, Coun Moores added.

He said: “This proposal is great news for the residents of the Crossley estate and it will be welcomed by the residents and the ward councillors.”

The scheme is being funded through the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, from a national government funding pot.

The combined authority was successful in bidding for £4.7m for homes across the region, which will mainly be used to retrofit external wall insulation, and air source heat pumps.

Bosses have agreed to use E.ON Energy Solutions to deliver the efficiency measures in homes across Greater Manchester.

However Oldham council is using its own cash from the housing revenue account capital programme to top up funding on the Crossley Estate work.

Homeowners can visit www.eonenergy.com/greenhomesgrant for more information on the grant funding while tenants should speak to their landlord or housing provider.

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