HOME   ARCHIVE   GALLERY   SHOP   ABOUT US      
 

 
SALFORD NON DECENT HOUSING RISES
 

Star date: 7th October 2009 

A Salford Star Exclusive

OVER 15,500 UNFIT HOMES IN SALFORD AND NEARLY 55% OF COUNCIL HOMES DON'T MEET DECENCY STANDARD!

The end for Salix Homes?

Despite zillions of pounds of public money being poured into Salford's regeneration over the last decade…and despite 15,000 Salford council houses being given away to City West Housing recently, the percentage of council-owned homes in the city that don't meet the Government's decency standard has increased…

Salford Council's own definition of `decent' is "Warm, weatherproof and having reasonably modern facilities". And nearly 55% of council owned houses in the city don't meet this standard.

Read the full story here


OVER 15,500 UNFIT HOMES IN SALFORD

Way back, the Government set a target that by 2010 all social housing in the country was to be brought up to a decent condition, with most of this improvement taking place in so-called `deprived areas'. 

The Government definition of `decent' is, according to Salford Council's website "warm, weatherproof and having reasonably modern facilities". But the Council went further than this and introduced a `Salford Standard' which included burglar alarms, double glazing and good quality street lighting.

One year away from the Government target, Salford Council has now stated that 54.5% of its houses don't even meet the basic decency standard. Indeed, Kevin Brady, Salford's Assistant Chief Executive writes in a Council report that "the number of council-owned homes in the city that do not meet the Government's decency standard has increased rather than reducing"

The Council aimed to reduce its unfit houses to 49% by 2008/9. The current figure is 54.5%, up from 53% in 2006/7. Doing the maths, we reckon that 5830 council owned houses in Salford are unfit. And this doesn't take into account the 14,800 houses given away (or "transferred") to City West Housing last year, of which the company is promising to make 9801 `decent' by the year 2014…and to hit the Salford Standard for decency within 30 years (by which time, everyone who lives in them will presumably be dead given the ridiculously low life expectancy in the city).

A few more sums, and we reckon there are 15,631 unfit Council/City West owned houses in Salford that people are actually living in – houses that aren't "warm, weatherproof and having reasonably modern facilities". And that figure doesn't include other social housing, privately rented housing and privately owned housing.

Brady, in his report, blames the missed target for decent homes on the loss of  a £70million Government grant that was due to Salix Homes had it got a 2* rating from the Audit Commission. But the inspection upon which that status depended didn't take place when it should have done in November 2008, and the 2* rating with the funding to sort non-decent Salix housing was lost.

What Brady doesn't write is that it was Salford Council/Salix itself which deferred the inspection, as confirmed to us by the Audit Commission. Which is a bit odd, until it's noticed that the Audit Commission did carry out an `indicative inspection' in February this year and made 58 recommendations for improvement. The next main inspection of Salix doesn't happen until February 2010 which, as Brady recognises, means that Salix may never get the funding to improve non decent housing in Salford.

"Salix Homes was not able to reduce the number of properties that are non decent" he writes "and the targets for 2009/10 and 2010/11 remain similarly at risk. This risk has been heightened by the Government's announcement that it has withdrawn 2011 funding for improving social housing to divert it to the recession money to building affordable new homes."

Rumours abound in the city that Salford Council is going to do what it did in West Salford when it couldn't afford to improve non decent housing – give the houses away to City West (which immediately put the rents up) or another `independent' company. Salix, just a few years after it took over from New Prospect Housing at a massive cost, would cease to exist.

50% IN FUEL POVERTY

In the meantime, it's Salford people living in non decent homes who are having to struggle to survive Salix/Salford Council's mess. People like those living in the towerblock at Arthur Millwood Court, 50% of whom are living in fuel poverty trying to keep out the mould and damp, according to an estimate by Hessel de Boer, chair of The Islington Estate Tenants and Residents Association.

In an open report he writes that he spends £190 a month over the whole year trying to keep his two bedroom high rise flat warm. That's 25% of his income.

"I do heat all my rooms properly in winter as I cannot afford to catch a cold…health wise this would cause my death due to the illness I have" Hessel writes "An additional four heating sources, in addition to the seven inadequate installed ones, are necessary to maintain +18 celcius when it is minus outside. It also could take an hour to fill a full bath while you are waiting for the electric boiler to re-heat. I just top it up with a big pan of boiling water."

He adds that the flats in the block have had hardly any investment since they were built in 1963 and that most other residents in the block complain to him about damp, draught, mould and heating problems, and that some can only afford to heat one room in their flats… "In winter it is an absolute disgrace" he writes.

Hessel moved into his Salix flat in 2007, fully expecting that, in line with Government targets, it would be improved to the `decent home standard' by 2010. Now, no-one knows the future.

We asked the Council lots of questions about the future of homes that don't meet the decency standard in Salford and for details of a report that was supposed to be out at the end of September.  So far Salford Council has declined to comment.

QUESTIONS TO SALFORD COUNCIL…

What is the Council's message to Salford people who have to live in homes that aren't of a decent standard?

How can Salix afford to meet its target on decent homes?

Why didn't the formal November inspection happen ?

Would Salix have got the 2* rating, given the 58 recommendations by the Audit Commission?

Given that the next inspection isn't til Feb 2010 and the Government has delayed payments until beyond 2011 to get homes up to a decent home standard, what is the future for Salix?

Is it true that the homes Salix currently managed will be `transferred' to another organisation - City West or a Trust?

What's happened to the Salford Standard ?

How many Council/City West homes in Salford don't meet the decent standard? How many other homes don't meet this standard (Private landlords, RSLs etc)? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Please enter your comment below:
 
 
 
Salford Star Hoodies
Salford Star contact
Deli Lama
advertisement
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: SALFORD SCHOOL SHUTS AS PARENTS AND PUPILS PROTEST HEAD TEACHER SUSPENSION
All the comments reported show quite clearly that they have no idea of the circumstance of the suspension.... [more]
article: SALFORD PEOPLE TO JUDGE WHETHER PLANNING COUNCILLOR BROKE RULES
Joey its simple. rockwool and rockpanel were used on Canon hussey, and celotex on other blocks. rockwool reps show a video of othe... [more]
article: PEPPA PIG COMMUNISM GRAFFITI GOES SUBVERSIVE IN SALFORD
Poor old peppa has been banned over here as well. On Newsnight last night some of Tommy Robinsons mob had a balloon with peppa on ... [more]
article: SALFORD MP SHOULD BE DESELECTED AFTER KEEPING TORIES IN POWER SAYS CONSTITUENT
I voted Brexit. If the tossers in parliament can't get it right, lets have a general election. I can't be arsed with one of these,... [more]
article: SALFORD MP SHOULD BE DESELECTED AFTER KEEPING TORIES IN POWER SAYS CONSTITUENT
Curious, what is Stringer up to? Is it really about Brexìt or preventing Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister? From what I... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

SALFORD SCHOOL SHUTS AS PARENTS AND PUPILS PROTEST HEAD TEACHER SUSPENSION

Star date: 19th July 2018

HARROP FOLD CLOSES FOR THE DAY DUE TO PROTEST

As pupils and parents prepared to protest the suspension of Harrop Fold head teacher, Drew Povey, and three other staff, the school closed today citing the "distressing effect on our students".

Some pupils, parents and members of the community did show up outside the school gates anyway, with one parent saying the suspensions were "unjust...He needs to be here doing his job".

Full details here...

SALFORD MP SHOULD BE DESELECTED AFTER KEEPING TORIES IN POWER SAYS CONSTITUENT

Star date: 19th July 2018

CALLS FOR GRAHAM STRINGER TO BE DESELECTED FOR 'TREACHERY'

On Tuesday night, Blackley and Broughton MP, Graham Stringer, was one of four Labour Party MPs who voted with the Tories on the latest Brexit proposals, allowing Theresa May to scrape to victory by three votes and avert a possible General Election.

Here, a constituent of the Salford MP and Labour Party member, gives her personal opinion, joining the call for Graham Stringer to be deselected...

Full details here...

PEPPA PIG COMMUNISM GRAFFITI GOES SUBVERSIVE IN SALFORD

Star date: 18th July 2018

'COMMUNISM IS FOR THE CHILDREN' SAYS SUBVERSIVE PEPPA PIG

Bizarre graffiti art has appeared near Salford Central Station depicting two delighted looking Peppa Pigs by the slogan 'Communism is for the children'. The art has led to much amusement and bemusement but is probably related to China banning the popular kids' cartoon.

Full details here...

SALFORD TOWERBLOCK CLADDING RESIDENTS UNITE TO TACKLE PENDLETON TOGETHER

Star date: 18th July 2018

SPRUCE COURT AND THORN COURT TENANTS GET ORGANISED TO FIGHT BACK

"We're sick to death of being treated like dirt..."

Last night, tenants from Spruce Court and Thorn Court met to share concerns over dangerous cladding, fire safety, security and other issues, as they united to take on towerblock manager Pendleton Together and Salford City Council, which owns the blocks.

"They try to ignore what we're saying" insisted one tenant "They're complacent... we're sick to death of being treated like dirt...".

Full details here...

SALFORD QUAYS DEVELOPER TO AVOID £1MILLION PAYMENT WHILE NO AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROVIDED

Star date: 17th July 2018

FURNESS QUAY DEVELOPER PROVIDES NO AFFORDABLE HOUSING ON HUGE APARTMENT SCHEME

Salford's planning scandal is to go up another gear this week when an application by developer De Trafford for 421 apartments in blocks up to 27 storeys high on the site of Furness Quay is considered by councillors. Thanks to Salford City Council policies, the developer will be providing no affordable properties, while, through 'viability' assessments it is set to avoid over £1million in planning fees.

Meanwhile, the English Cities Fund (ECf) is continuing its secrecy in relation to new apartments and an office development around Chapel Street and New Bailey.

Full details here...

 



written and produced by Salfordians for Salfordians
with attitude and love xxx