Merton Council plans to pump £5million into major repairs and improvements to its council housing stock. The funds were earmarked after the ambitious programme gained approval at last night’s Council meeting.

Merton’s programme of repairs and improvements is being funded by the Government’s new Major Repairs Allowance which was introduced as part of their commitment to improve the quality of all social housing by 2010. Among other jobs, the £5 million will be used to replace windows and doors, renew roof coverings, install central heating and replace boilers in properties across the Borough.

Another £200,000 has also been allocated for community safety schemes to proceed next year. This will mean that schemes such as door entry and improved lighting will be considered and approved after direct submissions from tenants about problems in their local areas.

The Council also intends to make Tenant Participation an increasing cornerstone of the housing service in Merton, and funding has been allocated to increase resources to achieve more tenant involvement.

Councillor Edith Macauley, Cabinet Member for Housing, said:

“The Housing budget for 2001/02 is a real success. I am very pleased that the Government has substantially increased the resources available to local authorities to invest in their council housing stock – enabling housing investment by local authorities to double since 1997.

“We are committed in Merton to tackling renovation and improvement work, as well as empowering tenants – to ensure that improvements are being made and to determine how their housing is managed. While providing a fairer system of affordable social rents this year’s housing programme will introduce a number of important schemes to provide continued improvements to the quality of housing in Merton.”