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Stoke-on-Trent bids for funding to help keep council homes warm

Published: Thursday, 29th February 2024

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has bid for £1.39 million extra funds to help families keep warm in their homes.

The authority has made the bid through the government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) to enable it to increase the energy efficiency of more than 100 council-owned homes in the city.

This work, which will complement work which is currently being delivered to tackle damp and mould in the council’s housing stock, forms part of the authority’s commitment to lift families out of fuel poverty and support people who are struggling with the cost of living.

Councillor Chris Robinson, cabinet member for housing, regeneration and planning, said: “The work which has already been delivered through the SHDF scheme here in Stoke-on-Trent is fantastic and if our bid for further funding is successful then we would be able to build on, and accelerate, our progress.

“We know that homes with poor energy efficiency are more prone to damp, mould and condensation issues so we believe that these improvements would help to address the root causes and lower the risks of long-term fuel poverty for families across the city.

“Alongside this scheme, we are investing millions of pounds into improving our housing stock through our five-year investment plan to ensure that everybody can live in a safe and warm home.”

If the bid is successful, the second wave of funding will allow the council to install cavity wall and external wall insulation, improved ventilation, double-glazed windows in 73 homes based primarily in Chell and Norton, with under floor insulation installed in a further 33 homes across the city.

Last year, through the successful delivery of an £870,000 SHDF-funded project, 74 properties in Smallthorne were upgraded with insulation, windows, doors, roofs and ventilation systems in what was recognised by the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero as one of the first SDHF projects to be completed.

The city council and Value Optimised Retrofit (VOR) – which was appointed as the retrofit coordinator for Stoke-on-Trent’s SHDF programme – has since been shortlisted in The Retrofit Academy Awards in the ‘Best Local Authority-led Retrofit Programme’ category for the scheme.

Over the next five years, the city council will be investing £117 million through a capital investment programme which will see more than 14,500 homes benefit from upgrades and improvements.

The programme will support the building of new homes, the remodelling and extending of existing properties to accommodate larger families and the installation of energy efficiency measures to ensure all properties achieve a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating C by 2030.