We may undertake long term or short term works projects to maintain and improve the city's Council housing stock.
We are responsible for painting the communal areas of blocks of flats and maisonettes on a regular basis. There is now a project taking place to review the painting programme.
The review will look at:
- the scope of the programme to determine what properties and elements of work will be included
- the specification to determine the type of paint to be used and the operational painting process, for example - the number of coats of paint required
- the prioritisation process of properties that require painting and timescales
The outcome of the project will aim to provide value for money and be better aligned to the requirements of properties, current capital investment projects and will provide information to inform future capital programmes. This will create longer term efficiencies and limit costs to leaseholders.
Housing improvement project
Building on the success of the Decent Homes programme which saw over 39,000 homes receive investment work, the Council has agreed a £300m, 5 year investment plan for council housing in the city. The priorities for the programme are protecting the building fabric, reducing the cost and number of responsive repairs required and improving the energy efficiency of homes.
Key elements of the programme will include
- roof renewal/roofline and roof repair work to approximately 30,000 homes
- adaptations to approximately 300 homes per year improving accessibility for individual tenants
- providing new energy efficient gas central heating to a further 12,000 homes
- refurbishing the Balfour sheltered scheme
- improving the appearance of communal areas for approximately 10,000 low rise flats in the city
- kitchen and bathroom renewal work to homes that do not meet the Sheffield standard
- installing double glazing and new external doors to homes that do not meet the Sheffield Standard
- completing the Are Environmental works programme focussing on door entry and security works
- undertaking fire safety works to all our low rise flats
- increasing the supply of council housing in the city through a programme of acquisitions and new build
There is now an address search facility on each of the investment programme areas where customers can find what work is planned for their home and when.
Before work starts on any aspect of the above programme customers will receive a letter explaining the work that will be undertaken. You will be provided with a named contact person for the work.
If you have any questions regarding the 5 year plan then you should contact us.
Surveying the condition of your home
We have a team of surveyors that visit homes across the city to record information about the condition of all our homes. This is called Stock Condition Survey and is used in reports to both Sheffield City Council and Central Government and helps us to plan for future maintenance and service priorities.
We plan to survey all homes. Each survey usually takes an hour to complete and the surveyor will need access to your home.
There are three main elements to the Stock Condition Survey:
- the external environment. This will look at the condition and appearance of the estate including communal areas
- property exterior. The surveyors will record information about the exterior of your home , such as roofs, windows, doors and boundary fencing
- property interior. The surveyors will record information such as the age of kitchens and bathrooms and information about energy efficiency
Please allow the surveyor access and don’t forget to ask the surveyor for identification before you let them into your home.
Electrical Upgrade Programme
We are bringing all housing managed by us up to a modern day electrical standard by March 2026.
Electrical improvements are required to keep customers safe, contribute to digital inclusion, meet legislative standards and contribute to reducing the carbon footprint by providing energy efficient products. Once underway, 65 to 70 properties will be completed each week.
HEC Contracting Ltd has been awarded the contract to complete this work. Up to £45 million will be invested in electrical upgrades. The contract is being managed by the Repairs Policy and Improvement Team in the Housing and Neighbourhoods Service.
What will be included
Upgrades that will be made include:
- installing isolation switches (where necessary)
- carrying out an initial periodic condition test and report
- replacing consumer units (where necessary) to provide improved RCD protection and safety for residents
- addressing Category 1, 2 and 3 issues identified by the periodic test
- ensuring earth bonding is adequate (where necessary)
- installing earth wiring to lighting circuits (where necessary)
- installing additional sockets and/ or improving the spread of sockets
- installing hard wired smoke alarms
- installing carbon monoxide detectors – risk based approach
- replacing bathroom light fittings which are difficult to access to replace bulbs
- installing external lighting to houses, bungalows and flats (where no communal lighting presently)
- carrying out a final periodic test (if further work carried out) to verify all electrics are operating correctly
We aim to move towards an electrical periodic test every 5 years as recommended by the National Council for Electrical installation Contracting (NICEIC).
Not every home will require the same work, it will be undertaken as necessary.
What each upgrade will achieve
Isolation switches allow the dwelling to be worked upon safely by electrical engineers. The upgrade project will enable us to install an isolation switch in every property.
Consumer unit specifications change regularly and in certain cases we are not offering ideal protection. This project will ensure consumer units are suitable, up to date and offer the best protection to our residents.
Category 1 and 2 issues identified from the periodic test will be rectified. Category 3 issues will be rectified based on a cost/ benefit analysis.
Earth bonding is often disrupted because of other works. This project will ensure that earth bonding is maintained and is effective.
Earth wiring to lighting circuits will be installed enabling residents to safely use metal lighting accessories. At present metal accessories must be removed if found for health and safety reasons.
Additional sockets and/ or spread of sockets. Due to the age of the housing, many homes do not have sufficient sockets or a spread of sockets which meet customer needs and the increasing use of technology in the home. This can lead to overuse of trailing cables or socket extension leads and health and safety issues.
Evidence from the teams working on the ground indicates that customers’ electrical DIY work is putting residents at risk. For example, the erection of external lighting in response to security concerns, additional sockets not installed by a qualified installer, surface mounted sockets and trailing cables.
Hard wired smoke alarms. There are around 20,000 hard wired smoke alarms in homes. All high-risk properties such as sheltered and towers have hard wired smoke alarms and all the general housing included on phase 1 of the programme, this will continue in phase 2 of the programme. Properties that are rewired always have hard wired alarms installed at the same time as it is part of the rewire specification. Legislation does not currently insist we install hard wired to all homes managed by Housing Services, but it may do in near future. Hard wired alarms are part of building regulations for new builds. In the meantime, we have battery smoke alarms within the remaining houses which are checked annually by the gas and district heating servicing programmes.
Carbon monoxide detectors. There were very few carbon monoxide detectors in homes. Once again, the legislation surrounding carbon monoxide detectors does not insist on their use, but there is recommendation for their use in general housing. Carbon monoxide detectors are part of the building regulations for new builds. It is recommended that the housing service installs carbon monoxide detectors on a risk based approach at the same time as other electrical improvement work and/ or when hard wired smoke alarms are installed.
Replacing bathroom light fittings which are difficult to access. Tenants have difficulty removing the cover and changing light bulbs. Some of the fittings are particularly difficult to access. This programme will identify these fittings and replace with a more suitable unit. The unit will be LED.
External lighting was installed on phase 1 of the programme and will continue to be installed on phase 2 of this programme. Evidence suggests that external lighting can reduce the incidence of burglary and is the most effective of all the crime reduction measures that can be applied to a home, including burglar alarms. Including this work as part of an upgrade project will present tenants with a safer environment in which to live.
To find out if your home is on the programme please contact us.