Awards expected to be capital’s last tranche of upgrade funding

A new £145m tranche of Decent Homes funding has been allocated to nine London Boroughs to cover upgrade work on thousands of council-owned properties.

The cash, which will pay for roof replacements, new doors and windows, rewiring work, and refurbished bathrooms and kitchens, was announced by Mayor of London Boris Johnson on Tuesday.

The works will be delivered in conjunction with City Hall’s Re:new support team, which is in charge of rolling out energy efficiency improvement works across council-owned properties in the capital.

It will be split between the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Haringey, Tower Hamlets, Camden, Lambeth, Kingston upon Thames, Southwark, and Sutton.

The move follows a bidding process that also required applicants to review the potential to add new housing to their existing estates to ensure that individual home-upgrade work was “not seen in isolation to the overall estate regeneration potential”.

A City Hall spokeswoman said arrangements for delivering the upgrades would vary on a borough-by-borough basis, depending on the stage each council’s Decent Homes programmes were at.

Johnson said the £145m came on top of the capital’s £821m share of Decent Homes programme funding committed to 14 boroughs over the past four years.

“As London’s population continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, and we strive to double the number of new homes being built across the capital, maintaining the quality of London’s essential existing housing stock is vital,” he said.

“These improvement works, in those homes in most urgent need of repair, are essential to ensure a decent quality of life for thousands of Londoners.”

The latest Decent Homes cash is backlog funding provided by central government and targeted at boroughs that failed to meet the original Decent Homes target of 2010 and complete work under the 2011-15 programme.

City Hall said it expected the allocations to mean every London authority was able to deal with the maintenance and repair of its housing stock independently from 2016/17.

Housing minister Brandon Lewis said the latest allocation represented a “significant funding boost” for the capital, and added that new legal protections for tenants and leaseholders would ensure that landlords did not impose “unreasonable charges” for repairs.

Last year ministers pledged to cap the amount councils and housing associations can charge tenants for repairs to their properties at £15,000 during any five year period for homes in the capital, and £10,000 elsewhere.