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Improving your council house

Most of our tenants will be aware that we have undertaken a massive programme to update our homes – this is known as the Carmarthenshire Homes Standard.

It is on course for completion by the end of 2015, by which time we will have spent £220million renovating our tenants’ homes.

The Carmarthenshire Homes Standard (CHS) programme aims to ensure that all homes have:

  • double glazing
  • new kitchens where appropriate
  • modernised bathrooms with electric showers
  • upgraded electrics
  • suitable insulation
  • new heating systems 

The CHS also focuses on the outside of the property including health and safety aspects related to the access to and from properties. These works could include relaying paths, painting and rendering.

The CHS goes much further than the homes we live in and has lead to projects that focus on our environment, open spaces and community areas. This page will give you information on all parts of the CHS and tell what you can expect to be carried out at your home. 

Work to the inside of your home is now well underway. You will have had, or will soon be given the option of having:

  • a new kitchen
  • a new bathroom with an over bath shower (or a level access shower if you need it)
  • electrical upgrading, with extra power sockets
  • central heating
  • an electric feature fire and surround

A housing officer will visit you and discuss your options with you.

You will get a choice of kitchen units, slip resistant flooring, tiles/respatex wall covering, worktops and fire surrounds.

If they haven’t already, an officer will call with you with colour samples and will help you decide. You’ll also get a brochure with samples and further information about the works.

Whilst we want to bring all our homes up to standard, we will not force you to have any works if you don’t want it at this time. Our experienced officers will discuss these issues with you, and answer any questions or concerns you may have when they call with you.

We will repair any damaged render or paint. Works could include:

  • Pressure washing and decoration to your existing render
  • Repairs to existing render
  • Complete re-render
  • Replacement of non-uPVC fascia and soffits or cleaning of existing uPVC fascia and soffits if needed.

If your home needs to be painted, you will be offered a range of colours, including:

  • Willow Green
  • Spring Daffodil
  • Mushroom
  • County Cream

We will also make sure your garden is a safe and enjoyable area through our Pride In Your Patch project, which also offers training opportunities and encourages you to take pride in your garden.

We will:

  • Repair paths that lead to your front door
  • Repair paths leading around the side of semi-detached homes and also back paths of terraced homes
  • Repair work to paths leading to existing solid build sheds i.e. not timber sheds
  • Provide handrails where there are two or more steps (and a handrail is not already provided)
  • Replace manhole covers where appropriate.

Work is being carried out on a site-by-site basis.

We have seven contractors on our Framework. They are:

As part of our contract with them, their roles and responsibilities are to:

  • Produce work of a good quality and respond to your needs and requests;
  • Be professional and polite;
  • Give you at least five working days’ written notice of their plan to start work on your property;
  • Provide a strong temporary floor covering to each property, while we carry out work inside;
  • Move and/or cover furniture with dustsheets, and move the furniture back afterwards;
  • Clean the paths to your home each day while the work is underway;
  • Clear up at the end of each day, and clear any room they may have used ready for you each evening, unless you have already agreed that you do not need that room;
  • Restore services (such as gas, water and electricity) whenever possible at the end of the working day;
  • Whenever possible, use their own water and power supply;
  • Make sure dangerous materials and tools are safely stored away;
  • Keep to health and safety regulations;
  • Make sure your home is left in a safe and secure condition.

If you have any concerns, or wish to speak with someone about the contractor working on your home, please call us on 01554 899292 or email us as soon as possible.

Keeping your home warm and lowering household bills is important to everyone. The better insulated your home is, the less money you'll spend heating it. 

The CHS cavity and loft insulation schemes have now been completed and were carried out four years ahead of schedule. We have insulated over 8,000 homes since 2006, and are now carrying out an external wall insulation scheme for homes which were not suitable for cavity wall insulation. 

If you think you have missed out on having cavity and loft insulation please contact the project team on 01554 899292 or email us.

With the development of CHS+ we are looking at more ways to improve the warmth of your home, using new technology and working with the big energy suppliers.

Find out what differences you can make to lower your bills. You could also save money by switching your energy supplier or joining a fuel club.

Yes. After the internal works have been completed, you will be entitled to a disturbance payment of up to £250.

The payment is made up of the following:

  • Total rewiring of your home - £100
  • Kitchen - £50
  • Bathroom - £50
  • Heating - £50

The payment can be paid via cheque, open cheque or paid directly in to your bank account.

Your community engagement officer will arrange for the payment to be sent out once the work is completed. If you have any rent arrears at this time, the disturbance payment will be paid towards the money you owe.

The CHS is not just about upgrading your home – we are very proud of the extra benefits it brings too, such as improving your health and well-being, and creating communities that are safer, more attractive and more sustainable for generations to come.

Research shows that improving the condition of your home will also improve your health. We are proud to be working with Hywel Dda Health Board and both Cardiff and Swansea Universities to look at further this research as part of the CHS Health Impact Study.

It’s the first study of its kind in Wales and tracks the health benefits of the works being carried out on your homes.

We carry out annual surveys with tenants during February to April to identify the benefits of the CHS works, based on:

  • Housing quality and satisfaction
  • Thermal comfort and fuel poverty
  • Physical and Mental Health

The study compares the health of tenants living in homes at three different stages of the CHS improvement works:

  • Unimproved homes where CHS works have not started
  • Homes where all CHS works have been completed
  • Homes where CHS works are partly complete

One of the other great aspects of the CHS is that it provides fantastic opportunities for training and employment within the local construction industry.

We have a number of training opportunities available:

Next Steps is run in partnership between Constructing Carmarthenshire TogetherLloyd and Gravell Ltd and TRJ Ltd. Every summer, Next Steps gives Carmarthenshire residents a chance to win an apprenticeship whilst gaining valuable experience on a community benefit project.

Pride In Your Patch provides training opportunities through our front and rear garden improvement schemes. People who are looking for work have the chance to work alongside our contractors carrying out the garden works, earning skills and credits that will come in useful for future employment.

 


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Carmarthenshire County Council has received £6million from the Welsh Government’s Major Repairs Allowance for the 2016/17 financial year which contributes to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) improvements.

Page updated on: 17/11/2016

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