Two stars brings £207m investment in Ealing Homes

Decent homes funding follows inspection success for ALMO

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EALING Homes, the Council's housing agent, has secured £207 million to redevelop the council's housing stock after being awarded two stars following an Audit Commission inspection.


The money will be spent over the next five years to ensure Ealing’s council tenants have decent, modern homes to live in.


The money comes after an Audit Commission inspection on Ealing Homes, the council's Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO), was carried out last May.


The inspectors found that: "Ealing Homes have promising prospects for improvement. It has a strong track record of improvement to date in most service areas resulting in many improvements that customers have benefited from and demonstrate that the ALMO is open and responsive to learning from its own experience and best practice elsewhere."


The inspectors added: "All of the major ingredients are in place for Ealing to succeed in delivering physical and service improvements. They are clear about what they want to do; have good plans; a staff that is driven by clear objective and strong leadership and they have delivered improvements in an adverse climate."


Darra Singh, the council's Chief Executive, said: "This is fantastic news and means we will have access to £64 million, over the next 18 months, to get on with the job of improving tenants’ homes. This means by 2010 all council properties that require it will have brand new modern kitchens, bathrooms, gas central heating systems, windows and roofs.


"It's also the shortest time a local authority in England and Wales has set up an ALMO and successfully secured decent homes funding."


Ealing Homes was established in September 2004 and the inspection was the first inspection of the ALMO by the Audit Commission.


Liban Ali, Ealing Homes’ chair, commented: “We are delighted with the outcome of the Audit Commission’s inspection of our services and, in particular, their recognition of marked service improvements. This not only releases the additional funding required to deliver our Decent Homes Programme, but supports our pledge to continuously improve services by providing a high quality housing service to our residents.”


“I thank the residents for challenging Ealing Homes and rightfully demanding a good quality housing service. Equally, I thank all the Board Members and Ealing Homes’ staff for focusing on and responding to the needs of our tenants and leaseholders.”


“We also acknowledge that there is still more to be done and I assure you that we will deliver decent homes and continue on our journey to excellence. We are just as pleased that the Audit Commission’s ‘Promising Prospects to Improve’ recognises this commitment to the future.”


Council leader Leo Thomson added: "This funding will allow the council to give our tenants the kind of homes they deserve. Homes that will be modern and more efficient. It will make a huge difference to people's lives. It's a wonderful achievement."


In total £375 Million will be spent over the next five years in bringing Ealing’s council homes up to Decent Homes Standards and Ealing Homes has plans in place to spend £80m over the next two years.


This financial year, £30m will be spent on installing around 750 new kitchens and bathrooms, 200 energy efficient central heating boilers, as well as installing new double glazed windows to more than 700 homes.


Next year 1500 new kitchens and bathrooms and 2000 replacement heating boilers will be installed.


August 11th, 2005