Decent Homes improvement work in Colchester was put on hold in May 2008, following a decision by Colchester Borough Council. This was to allow an assessment of the number of the homes still to be improved and the cost of the work. Two other issues were looked at: the best way of monitoring and putting in controls for any future work which to be carried out, and the way forward in terms of procurement.
In January 2009, Colchester Borough Council announced that Decent Homes work was likely to restart in the autumn. Because of the amount work that needs to be done, EU rules on how contracts are given out have to be followed. This is complex process, which will take some time.
As of January 2009, figures show that 1,209 homes still need work on them to bring them up to the Decent Homes standard.
The council has agreed that a programme of capital improvement work should target homes most in need of emergency upgrades for health and safety issues . This started in March 2009, after the end of a tendering process. The focus of this work will include replacing kitchens, windows, doors, heating and electrics.
We have agreed with Colchester Borough Council that the repairs and maintenance service, which has been managed by Colchester Borough Homes since July 2008, should be exposed to external competition. This is because the council has a legal duty to make sure that it has obtained the best value service possible. When we have more information on timing and the process we will give you more news.