Thousands of rented properties get revamp under £23million project

Pictured left to rigt are, Keith Gallagher (East Durham Homes Chair), Barry Metters (Contracts Manager, Frank Haslam Milan ), Emma O'Sullivan (Resident Liaison Officer, Frank Haslam Milan), Graeme Dougherty (Senior Site Manager, Frank Haslam Milan), Ian Wilson (Project Co-ordinator, East Durham Homes), Mrs Maureen McGann (East Durham Homes tenant)...
Pictured left to rigt are, Keith Gallagher (East Durham Homes Chair), Barry Metters (Contracts Manager, Frank Haslam Milan ), Emma O'Sullivan (Resident Liaison Officer, Frank Haslam Milan), Graeme Dougherty (Senior Site Manager, Frank Haslam Milan), Ian Wilson (Project Co-ordinator, East Durham Homes), Mrs Maureen McGann (East Durham Homes tenant)...
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A COUPLE are celebrating a revamp of their home, which marks a major milestone in a landlord’s improvement campaign.

Maureen and Thomas McGann’s house in Seaton Crescent, Seaham, has become the 3,000th property to undergo work as part of the Decent Homes programme.

East Durham Homes (EDH), which rents out more than 8,500 homes, is carrying out the work as part of a £23.5million project being carried out this financial year.

It aims to have brought half of its properties up to standard, ensuring they will be warm, in a good state of repair and have modern facilities by the end of March.

The McGanns, who moved into their house in March 2004, had the update and repairs carried out by contractor Frank Haslam Milan (FHM) North East, which is part of the Keepmoat group.

The work includes a full rewiring, a new heating system, combi boiler, electric fire, kitchen and refurbished bathroom.

Mrs McGann said: “The work that’s been done is absolutely fabulous and I’m very pleased with the end result.”

To celebrate the occasion, Keith Gallagher, EDH chairman, presented Mrs McGann with a bouquet of flowers and vouchers.

Working with their partners FHM, Kier and Wates, EDH completed Decent Homes work on 1,256 properties during the last financial year, 39 per cent of its total stock.

The Peterlee-based landlord, which operates as an arms length management organisation (ALMO) on behalf of Durham County Council, said this was “a significant improvement” since 2009, when there was only 10 per cent decency rate.

FHM contracts manager Barry Metters said: “It’s wonderful to see what a difference this work is making to the lives of tenants such as Mr and Mrs McGann.

“We are very pleased to be working with East Durham Homes to deliver these important improvements and reaching the 3,000th home milestone is a fantastic achievement.”

EDH was allocated £116.4million from the Government over a four-year period in 2009 following an inspection by the Audit Commission.

It had hoped to use a large amount of that cash to carry out Decent Homes work shortly after the announcement, but was later told it would get reduced allocations as funds were needed to build homes elsewhere in the country, with backlog funding still due.

Of the total cash it has put aside for the project this year, £12million is owed to it by the Homes and Communities Agency.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham