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West Lancashire Borough Council – Housing Annual Report for Tenants 2020 – 2021

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  • £2.8m spent on responsive repairs
  • Almost £5m invested in tenants’ homes
  • Thousands helped with money advice

West Lancashire’s Housing Annual Report for Tenants 2021/2022 has been published. The report is a summary of how the Council and its Housing team has responded to the needs of its tenants in the past year:

Improvements and repairs

In the last year, we spent £2.8M carrying out 23,171 responsive repairs to tenants’ homes and communal areas. We also invested £4.9m in our tenants’ homes by completing our investment programme which meant:

  • 136 homes had new windows and doors installed costing £530k
  • 165 homes had new roof coverings & loft insulation work carried out costing £1.4m
  • 142 homes had new kitchens installed costing £625K
  • 111 homes had new bathrooms installed costing £384K
  • 457 homes had new heating/ hot water systems installed costing £1.1m
  • £290k was spent on installing disabled adaptations

Helping tenants with their finances

We have also supported 2028 people who have accessed our money advice service. The Money Advice Team helped tenants secure a total of £325k by providing support and advice in relation to benefit applications and benefit issues relating to paying their rent. The team also helped tenants to secure personal income totalling £475k through support which included benefits, budgeting and debt resolution. 585 families were helped to move onto Universal Credit and 1390 tenants were supported to manage their money more effectively.

371 tenants were prevented from facing court proceedings following help from our Money Advice service. We supported our tenants during the pandemic, and changed the way we work, this meant no tenants were evicted from their homes due to rent arrears.

We have continued to invest in our Furnished Tenancy Scheme. This has allowed us to create over 150 additional furnished tenancies, supporting tenants to move into their new home. This scheme is for customers who may be on low income, who do not have access to the basic items needed to set up a home, such as a bed, sofa, fridge etc. Furnished Tenancies can help minimise furniture poverty, reduce multiple debts, and supports tenants to sustain their tenancy.

Investing in our communities:

In 2021, we re-introduced Estate Walkabouts. The Walkabouts are attended by officers from the Council with partner agencies including the police as well as Councillors and residents, who use the opportunity to identify issues that are causing particular concern.

The Homelessness Team successfully bid for funding to extend its Rough Sleeper Support Service. The service offers those who are sleeping rough or are at imminent risk of rough sleeping the chance to have their own tenancy with a dedicated support worker. We currently have five flats dedicated to the scheme.

Tawd Valley Developments (TVD), the Council’s housing building company, has now completed 13 new homes at Eskbank, 17 in Brierfield and 14 at Fairstead, all in Skelmersdale. Another development at Westhead (10 homes) is due for completion soon and the 27 home Northfield scheme will be completing in phases by autumn 2022.

Councillor Nicola Pryce-Roberts, portfolio holder for Housing and Landlord Services, said:  “I am proud of the ongoing work that Council officers and the staff of Tawd Valley Developments are doing to create and provide homes and to support our residents through what continues to be an extremely difficult and uncertain time.

“Making sure our tenants and residents have secure, safe places to live is one of the most important roles the Council has, and this report highlights the extra lengths we have gone to in that endeavour.”

You can read the full report here: www.westlancs.gov.uk/housing/i-am-a-council-tenant/annual-report-for-tenants-2021-2022.aspx

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