Thurrock needs to find millions to maintain housing stock

Thurrock Council must find more than £91 million to maintain and repair its housing stock over the next five years, it has been revealed.

Despite huge financial pressures, the authority will need to earmark £24million for external work on its homes, £16.9million to repair rooves and £15.4million updating heating systems.

Outside decorations, kitchens, electrics and maintenance of community areas will add an extra £23.3million. New doors, insulation, bathrooms and windows will cost the council a further £11.8million.

In 2022, the council brought in a contractor to carry out a stock condition survey of 30 per cent of existing housing stock equating to 2,952 properties and 161 communal blocks.

Homes included in the survey ranged from bedsits to family homes.

Mould and damp, an ongoing problem for Thurrock council tenants was unsurprisingly one of the main findings along with the need to ensure homes are up to standard in fire prevention. Surveyors were said to have found damaged or missing smoke detectors along with missing kitchen doors or missing door closers.

Six properties were found to be at severe risk and referred for immediate repairs.

A report to Thurrock Council’s housing overview and scrutiny committee, said: “ Any backlog type of repairs that should be carried out in order to maintain the standard of the property including recording of any building defects that compromise the health and safety of residents, impact on security or potentially having a detrimental impact on other building components if not rectified.”

The report adds: “The findings of this exercise are going to be very important as the Council moves forward with planning for future works and investment based on actual asset needs.

“The landscape of social housing continues to evolve at pace with the needs and the wellbeing of residents at its heart and Thurrock Council must rise to this challenge.”

The committee will discuss the findings on Tuesday.

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter