I recently secured a Debate in Parliament on the Decent Homes programme in Nottingham.
The benefits to Nottingham of the Labour Government’s Decent Homes programme can be seen throughout the city.
Thanks to Nottingham Trent University’s Impact Study, we know just how effective that programme was:
* 15,900 properties have had their windows replaced with double glazing - representing improvements to 56% of Nottingham's council homes.
* 9,000 kitchens, 7,200 bathrooms and 3,400 doors have been replaced.
* 10,200 heating systems have been upgraded and 2,900 loft insulations installed.
* Burglaries on two estates fell by 42% (double the Nottingham average reduction).
* Better insulation has cut fuel bills and saves 15,445 tonnes of CO2 per year—the equivalent of 2,700 cars taken off the road or 360,000 new trees planted.
* Improved living conditions could save two lives a year and the NHS £700,000 in treatment costs.
* The initial £37.6 million investment generated £54.9 million of spending in Nottinghamshire, and created hundreds of jobs and 105 apprenticeships.
Despite this success, the programme is under threat. The Government promised the £46 million needed to bring every council home in the city up to the Decent Homes standard. They need to make good. The Minister acknowledged the strength of the case but would only say that a decision would be made ‘in due course.’ I will keep up the pressure on the Government and continue to fight for decent housing in Nottingham.
Uncertainty over the Decent Homes programme compounds the withdrawal of funding for urban regeneration. The Meadows, one of the most deprived communities in the country, was due to receive £200 million of funding to transform the area.
Unfortunately the Tory-led Government cut the funding two years ago. This was a massive disappointment for the constituency and for residents who had fought for the funding. At the time the Housing Minister (Grant Shapps) promised to visit the Meadows—but he has yet to do so.
In the Decent Homes debate I reissued that invitation, and we were told that the Housing Minister would now be visiting. I look forward to introducing him to Meadows residents so that he can hear at first hand the challenges that the Meadows faces.