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£1bn fund to improve UK council houses

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has pledged to invest £1 billion of public money into the renovation of up to 86,000 council houses across the UK, helping 41 councils to bring these properties back into full-time use.

Announced by housing minister Mark Prisk, the Decent Homes scheme aims to bring thousands of properties across the UK up to minimum living standards for those relying on council homes in which to live.

Mr Prisk commented: "By improving this country's council homes we will transform many families' lives for the better, bringing their living standards up to scratch ensuring that their home is the safe haven it is meant to be.

"But the benefits of the £1billion ... reach far beyond tenants themselves and into the local economy. With every pound spent on improvements boosting local business, creating new jobs and supporting local spending."

The initiative aims to help deliver an increase in activity for construction firms across the country, as they work to make these homes habitable. In turn, it is hoped the stimulation will go a long way towards helping to bring the economy back on track.

As part of the works being carried out, homes across the UK will see the installation of new energy-efficient heating systems, roofing repairs, windows updates, insulation improvements and much more.

Last month, Mr Prisk also announced the DCLG is set to invest in private rented property across the country in a bid to tackle the ongoing housing crisis.

He argued that by encouraging local authorities to shift their attention from social housing landlords to the private sector.

As part of the scheme, the DCLG has set aside £300 million for the creation of up to 15,000 new affordable homes across the UK, as well as offering landlords to the chance to take part in the £10 billion government guarantee scheme for both private and rented accommodation. 

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