Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Nottingham Decent Homes Impact Study

The "Decent Homes" programme is a project being run by Nottingham City Homes that aims to improve the quality of its rented and leased housing stock. You can find out more about the programme here.

But what has really caught the attention of BFTF is the impact study on the project, which comments that :

The Secure Warm Modern programme in Nottingham Nottingham City Homes’ Secure, Warm, Modern programme aims to bring Nottingham’s 28,300 council homes up to and above the national Decent Homes standard.

The work began in 2008, with a total planned investment of £187 million between 2008 and 2015, delivered under the following streams:

• Nottingham Secure – replacing all single-glazed windows with ‘Secured by Design’ double-glazed units in around 15,300 properties

• Warmth for Nottingham – improving heating systems for 19,700 properties

• Modern Living – making internal improvements including new kitchens for 17,000 homes and new bathrooms in 12,700 homes.

The Decent Homes Impact Study provides an evaluation of the wider social impacts of Nottingham City Homes’ Decent Homes programme, known locally as ‘Secure Warm Modern’. While the initial vision for the Decent Homes programme emphasised the wider social benefi ts that such a programme would deliver, there has been little systematic data collection or analysis of these benefits to date. This research aims to fill that gap, by providing evidence of impact of the Secure, Warm, Modern programme on NCH’s tenants and communities, covering the impact on crime and security, health and wellbeing, the environment and fuel poverty, and on the local economy and employment.

Many of NCH’s tenants are affected by multiple factors of deprivation, with some estates within the most deprived areas in England. NCH is therefore a key partner in Nottingham’s Sustainable Community Strategy,

The research has shown that the improvements to the physical condition of the property have led to improved outcomes for tenants in terms of their security, health and comfort, as well as wider impacts on the community such as carbon reduction, employment opportunities and neighbourhood improvement. These changes were measured using relevant indicators as well as qualitative information from tenants and stakeholders, giving a measurable indication of the size and scope of changes resulting from the Secure, Warm, Modern programme.

Burglary to domestic properties has decreased by 42 percent between 2007 and 2010 on two sample estates after all single glazed windows were replaced with new Secured by Design double glazed windows; this is compared to a 21 percent decrease in burglary across the city over the same period.

The new double glazed windows, central heating systems and loft insulation fitted through SWM between 2008 and 2011 have increased the average energy efficiency (SAP) rating of NCH homes that have received the work from 60 to 68 points. This equates to...15 per cent decrease in emissions from NCH properties [and a significnat reductions in fuel bills].

However, the detailed case study carried out with tenants living in properties receiving SWM work highlighted that the choices and behaviour of tenants make a signifi cant difference in the actual energy effi ciency gains seen.

It is estimated Secure Warm Modern could potentially:
• Save two lives a year by protecting vulnerable tenants from the cold

• Improve the respiratory health (e.g., asthma) of over 1000 children

• Improve the mental health of over 1,400 tenants by relieving excess cold and fuel poverty

• Avoid 12 hospital admissions a year as a result of falls

• Prevent 144 accidents requiring medical attention

It is worth hearing a couple of comments from the tenants, which gives some feel for the impact that the changes have had on their daily lives :

“I had been burgled, and every night I checked everything, it was like an obsessive thing… So from the day I had my windows I felt 100 percent safe”

“You’d have to be putting more money in just to keep it warm… so obviously you’re trying to save as much as you can, so that was like a big hole in my pocket… “The [gas payment] reduced down from £30 to £15, so I just top up every week and it has saved me a lot of money”

But don't take BFTF's word for it, have a look at the report and decide for yourself !

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