MORE than 70 per cent of council homes have been refurbished thanks to a £220 million council home improvement programme. Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) improvement programme will see all of its tenants’ homes brought up to a specific set of standards by 2020. The standards include internal refurbishments, such as new kitchens, bathrooms, heating and electrical upgrades, as well as external works. Currently, 7,619 properties from the council’s total housing stock of 10,803 have had the work done. A programme of external improvements is also being carried out separately in order to minimise disruption to tenants and currently 3,700 properties have benefitted from this. As well as making homes more modern and improving their appearance, there will also be specific adaptations to homes for individuals that have certain needs. One couple who benefited from such adaptations are David and Susan Rosser from Machen. Mr and Mrs Rosser received the keys for their council owned bungalow in May 2017, after needing to downsize from their house. Soon after moving into their new home they were visited by a occupational therapist and surveyor from the council’s WHQS team. The team worked with Mr and Mrs Rosser to design a new kitchen around their requirements and also recommended the bath be replaced with a walk-in shower, to better meet the health needs of Mrs Rosser. A path and handrail were also installed in the back garden to make it easier and safer for the couple to reach the washing line. Mr Rosser said “We were really impressed by the colour options we were offered for the kitchen and bathroom, and we’re so happy with the finished work. "Everybody who visited as part of the works bent over backwards to help us; they were all excellent. "We recently finished decorating the rest of the bungalow and are really settling into our new home.”

Improvements at Mr and Mrs Rosser’s home were carried out by the council’s in-house workforce who is undertaking a proportion of the council’s WHQS programme.

Cllr Lisa Phipps, the council’s Cabinet Member for Homes and Places, said “The council is making excellent progress in delivering its WHQS improvement programme. It’s reassuring to hear a story like Mr and Mrs Rosser’s which shows that, despite the scale of the programme, high quality improvements continue to be delivered which are tailored to meet the needs of tenants.”

To find out more about the council’s WHQS improvement programme visit www.caerphilly.gov.uk/Services/Housing