The City Council spent £2.3 million replacing 227 kitchens and 240 bathrooms in its social housing stock over the 2017-18 financial year to improve the quality of housing for its tenants.
The investment is part of the Council’s ongoing programme to raise the quality of its housing above the Government’s Decent Homes Standard to meet what the Council has called the ‘Oxford Standard’. In the previous year, 290 kitchens and 265 bathrooms were replaced at a cost of £2,424,760. The Decent Homes Standard was set up by the government to ensure that all social housing landlords got their properties up to a basic standard of habitation by 2010.
These standards are to ensure that each of the Council’s homes:
- has modern facilities and services
- is in a reasonable state of repair
- has a reasonable degree of thermal comfort, and
- meets the minimum fitness standards
The Council brought all of its 7,900 homes up to the Decent Homes Standard within the target date set by the Government of December 2010. Approximately £63 million pounds was spent on upgrading and renovating the properties.
In 2015, the Council decided to go above and beyond the national ‘Decent Homes’ standard for its flats and houses and instituted the ‘Oxford Standard’, under which council properties have seen more regular replacements of bathrooms and kitchens.
Councillor Mike Rowley, Board Member for Housing, said: “Oxford City Council is the only local authority in the county to have retained its social housing stock. Keeping these homes in good repair and maintaining them to the Oxford Standard - which is above the Government’s Decent Homes Standard – is a key priority for the Council. Government policy has made that more and more difficult to achieve – particularly through the requirement to sell off our high value social housing to fund the extension of Right to Buy to housing association tenants. Nonetheless, we have continued our capital investment programme and over the four years from 2017-18 to 2020-21 we are spending a total of £9.497 million installing new kitchens and bathrooms to improve the quality of housing for our tenants across the city.”