New scheme transforms more than 450 homes

13 December 2017

Nearly £1m has been spent this year on improving 447 homes in Derker, Oldham, which it’s hoped will cut energy bills and improve health.

First Choice Homes Oldham has so far invested £996,000 in a pilot scheme to trial new ways of helping customers who have problems with condensation, including those who haven’t reported any issues.

This is part of ongoing work to assess and improve properties across the borough for any issues which may lead to condensation, such as how people use and look after their homes, the weather, and repairs which need to be carried out.

Robbie Mannion, Assistant Director of Assets Management, said: “We have invested this money as part of our work to be an excellent landlord and we have dedicated significant resources to ensure our properties are safe and well-maintained for customers. Condensation can be effectively managed through some simple steps to avoid problems such as mould. In the small number of cases where there are issues with our properties, we look to make repairs or bring in special equipment to help resolve these.”

If condensation is left unmanaged, it can cause mould and issues with buildings, which can, over a long time, have an impact on the health of people with conditions such as asthma.

Repair reports identified there were a number of residents in Derker who said they had issues with condensation. To investigate this, First Choice Homes Oldham carried out surveys earlier this year to gain a full understanding of the situation.

Work has included providing advice to customers on what they can do to avoid condensation affecting their homes, treating mould growth, removing cavity wall insulation which is no longer working, damp-proofing, and pointing walls.

New electrical equipment known as Positive Input Ventilation is also being trialled in some homes where appropriate. This works to push extra air out of the property, reducing drafts and improving the circulation of heating in properties, which in turn will help to reduce energy bills.

The properties will be checked at three, six and 12 month periods to see if any problems have reoccurred.

Simple steps can help to prevent condensation becoming a problem. These include avoiding drying washing on radiators, opening windows to ensure properties are properly aired, using installed extractor fans, opening curtains, reducing the amount of clutter so heating and air can circulate, closing the bathroom door after having a shower.

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