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Residents urged to have their say in latest council house consultation

Published: Monday, 16th January 2023

Residents are being urged to have their say on proposals to revise two policies which aim to ensure council houses are comfortable, maintained and safe.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has launched a consultation over plans to update its Repairs and Maintenance Policy and the Void Management Policy, which were approved in 2018 and 2020, respectively.

The consultation will run for six weeks from today (Monday 16 January) to Monday 27 February.

The streamlined policies will reflect the latest changes in national legislation and ensure services remain fit-for-purpose.

Proposed updates to the Repair and Maintenance Policy 2023 include:

• Emergency works to be responded to within 24-hours - this includes where tenants have no heating and no hot water, a blocked sink or faulty smoke or carbon monoxide alarm;

• Extreme emergency works to be responded to within two hours - this includes gas leaks, power failure, severe water leaks and major drainage problems;

• Routine repairs enhanced by an area-based approach – the council will take a geographical approach to routine repairs by proactively targeting areas / estates where there is high demand for repair services;

• Updated legislation including the Building Safety Act 2022 and Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (Amendment) Regulations 2022.

Proposed updates to the Void Management Policy 2023 include:

• Expanding ‘lettable’ standards to include the provision of a Decent Homes standard bathroom or wet room and a working carbon monoxide detector in all required rooms where a combustion appliance is present;

• Clearly outlining the city council’s responsibility to comply with relevant legislation in respect of electrical and gas safety, legionella, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Councillor Carl Edwards, cabinet member for housing and environment, said: “As Stoke-on-Trent’s biggest social landlord, we take our responsibility for providing safe and well-maintained homes very seriously.

“We are committed to driving up housing standards in the city and, to ensure our revised policies meet the current and future needs of our residents, we need to understand the areas that are important to our tenants in providing a decent home.

“I would urge as many people as possible to have their say over the consultation period. The feedback will be collated and reflected in the new policies and considered by cabinet in the summer.”

To have your say on the consultations visit the webpages www.stoke.gov.uk/RMpolicy and www.stoke.gov.uk/voidpolicy