Yorkshire Housing has said it will increase its investment by over a third as part of its five-year asset management strategy.
The decision means the organisation will be spending around £108m on home improvements: An average investment of £21.6m a year from 2023-2028, up from £15.7m a year during the previous five years.
The investment will include £42m on kitchen and bathroom renewals, £36m on external elements like roofs and walls, £18m on energy efficiency upgrades and low carbon heating solutions, and £12m on replacing older gas boilers with new, more energy efficient models.
Steve Ellard, Yorkshire Housing’s director of assets and sustainability, said: “The main aim of this strategy is to create homes and places to be proud of, places that are fit for the future and where our customers want to live.
“Over the next five years, it will help us lay the foundations towards making better informed decisions about our homes, improving the service we offer our customers and delivering value for money.”
Central to the strategy is the development of a Yorkshire Housing Home Standard that he organisation says goes above and beyond the Government’s Decent Homes Standard, which sets the minimum regulatory and legislative standards that social homes in England and Northern Ireland are required to meet.
The Yorkshire Housing Home Standard, which it says will be designed with feedback from tenants, will focus on exceeding regulatory safety standards, using high quality products, improving customer choice, and delivering more “pre-emptive” services.
The Standard will also include a range of elements that will help households transition to a low carbon future, including energy efficient heating systems, and electric vehicle charging points.
There will also be a drive to improve information about the condition of homes by using a range of smart home technology, the organisation says, including sensors to monitor the performance of boilers, and to measure things like levels of humidity and temperature, which is claimed will help to “proactively” identify and address any potential problems with damp and mould early on.
Ellard added: “Moving toward more efficient and pre-emptive services also aligns with our commitment to reducing our impact on the environment, which is key theme of the strategy.
“Our 16,500 homes across Yorkshire produce 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year and we plan to get that number to zero by 2050, and make sure all our homes have a minimum energy performance rating of SAP Band C by 2030.
“To do this, over the next five years we’ll focus heavily on replacing oil and solid fuel heating systems with low carbon solutions like air source heat pumps, as well as making improvements to the fabric of our buildings such as improving insulation, which will reduce our customers’ energy consumption and help to tackle fuel poverty.”
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