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 CD
Salford Star contact
Deli Lama
advertisement
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: SALFORD CITY COUNCIL THREAT LETTER CAUSES ELDERLY CITIZENS ANGUISH
I wonder if our single tenant Social housing Lab Councillors got a letter? I bet not:) ... [more]
article: SALFORD CITY COUNCIL THREAT LETTER CAUSES ELDERLY CITIZENS ANGUISH
I got this letter I have lived on my own for 14 years... [more]
article: SALFORD CITY COUNCIL THREAT LETTER CAUSES ELDERLY CITIZENS ANGUISH
He will be if my dad gets one!... [more]
article: SALFORD CITY COUNCIL THREAT LETTER CAUSES ELDERLY CITIZENS ANGUISH
Sack anyone who was involved in generating this pathetic idea we could save a lot of council tax money by not employing t... [more]
article: SALFORD CITY COUNCIL THREAT LETTER CAUSES ELDERLY CITIZENS ANGUISH
I'm in my eighties and haven't had one. Is it just one or two particular areas? In which case it may a jobsworth sticking his or h... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

SALFORD CITY COUNCIL THREAT LETTER CAUSES ELDERLY CITIZENS ANGUISH

Star date: 22nd October 2018

CALLOUS COUNCIL TAX LETTER SCARES ELDERLY 

Hundreds, and possibly thousands, of letters have been sent by Salford City Council to elderly people threatening them with the loss of their single person Council Tax discount as it states 'Records show that multiple adults are living at your address', even though they are widows and widowers. The letter tells them to fill in an online form 'within the next 14 days' or the discount will be cancelled.

"It's not fair to be treating your senior citizens in this way, it's just callous" says Jill Royle, whose 92 year old non-computer literate mother became totally agitated on receiving the letter "Salford Council needs to know how much anguish it's caused."

Full details here...

BOLTON NHS HOSPITAL WORKERS CELEBRATE HUGE PAY VICTORY

Star date: 22nd October 2018

AFTER TWO DAY STRIKE HOSPITAL WORKERS WIN NHS PAY PARITY

"We stuck together and we won!" Vicky, cleaner at Royal Bolton Hospital

Bolton Royal Hospital workers are celebrating a massive victory after taking two days of strike action over pay parity earlier this month, supported by Salford UNISON and many other trade unionists.

The workers, who include cleaners, catering staff, porters and security staff, are employed by Bolton NHS Trust's subsidiary company iFM, doing the same jobs as other NHS workers but were offered pay at a lesser rate. Now they have won an increase in line with other NHS workers, backdated to last April.

Full details here...

RALLY TO SAVE OUR NURSERIES AS CAMPAIGNERS PUT DEMANDS ON SALFORD CITY COUNCIL

Star date: 22nd October 2018 

TEN DEMANDS ON COUNCIL BY NURSERY CAMPAIGNERS

Next Saturday, 27th October, Save Our Nurseries campaigners are to hold a rally, from noon, on the lawn of Salford Civic Centre to reinforce the push for a long term solution to closures.

While Salford MPs Graham Stringer, Barbara Keeley and Rebecca Long-Bailey have confirmed attendance, campaigners are putting to the Council ten demands which must be met to avoid a clash.

Full details here...

TONNES OF SALFORD RECYCLING PAPER REJECTED AS PEOPLE PUT WRONG STUFF IN BLUE BINS

Star date: 22nd October 2017

DIRTY NAPPIES AND PLASTIC BAGS PUT IN BLUE BINS

Tonnes of Salford's paper and card recycling collections are being rejected as people put the wrong stuff in blue bins, including dirty nappies, plastic bags, polystyrene packing and even electrical items.

Now Recycle for Greater Manchester has teamed up with Salford City Council to launch a What's In The Box? campaign to remind residents that only newspapers, magazines, greeting cards, paper wrapping paper, cardboard boxes and junk mail and envelopes can be put in the blue bins.

Full details here...

DICK WHITTINGTON COMES TO ST LUKES IN SALFORD

Star date: 21st October 2018

PANTO TIME IN SEEDLEY

Dick Whittington
Monday 22nd–Saturday 27th October
St Luke's Parish Hall, Derby Road £6.50/£5.50

St Luke's Arts and Drama Society, well known for its class performances, is putting on the classic panto, Dick Whittington this week, from Monday until Saturday.

Full details here...

 



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