Landlords make £5m improvements

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Contrasting scenes of Liverpool housing. Pic © JMU Journalism

Contrasting scenes of Liverpool housing. Pic © JMU Journalism

Liverpool landlords have carried out £5million worth of improvements to their properties after recent inspections by the council.

Environmental health officers from The Healthy Homes programme have carried out health and safety checks at more than 4,000 houses in the last five years, forcing many private landlords to carry out essential repairs.

The programme, designed to prevent illness and injury from poor housing conditions, is set to launch its 2014 ‘Winter Survival Campaign’,  which aims to help reduce the number of deaths in Liverpool during the winter months.

Councillor Ann O’ Byrne, Cabinet Member for Housing, told JMU Journalism: “Reaching £5million is massive for the Healthy Homes team. Some of the most vulnerable residents have literally had their lives transformed.

“One woman had nothing but a hob to keep her warm, but after the team went in her house was completely transformed and she was fitted with double glazing and a brand new bathroom.”

Cllr O’Byrne believes that the Healthy Homes programme will massively improve local neighbourhoods and keep up housing prices, although this is secondary to people’s well-being.

The work that has been carried out ranges from removing mould to eliminating life-threatening structural defects, and those landlords who fail to act on the results of their inspection will face prosecution.

Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health, told JMU Journalism: “We know that the impact of a person’s housing on their health and well-being is huge.

“Living in damp housing, struggling to pay heating bills on low incomes, or trying to get around in non-adapted homes with a disability can cause unnecessary illness, injury, unhappiness, misery and reduced mental health.”

The Healthy Homes team has now set up development sessions, which are due to start on October 15th, to help the city’s landlord’s to manage their properties to the highest standards.

About Amy Nicholson, JMU Journalism