A warm welcome for home improvements

�A scheme to make Havering homes warmer and more energy-efficient is under way.

There is �1.4million being spent this financial year and the same next year.

Some “non-traditional” houses, including those made out of concrete, have had their front and back walls completely taken down and rebuilt as part of the work.

Temporary walls and windows have been put up so families can remain in situ while the work is done.

The scheme is part of a wider �62million project launched last year to bring all council properties in Havering up to modern standards.

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Homes in Havering will be sprucing up thousands of properties over four years to bring them up to the national Decent Homes standard.

Work involves recladding walls to better insulate them – sometimes replacing walls completely – and re-roofing homes if necessary.

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Lofts have been insulated, double-glazed windows fitted, external doors and rainwater pipes replaced, and new kitchens and bathrooms installed.

‘Lovely and cosy’

Joyce Raife, 70, who has lived in Keats Avenue, Harold Hill, for 45 years, said: “The house used to be very cold and I just couldn’t get warm. But now, after all the work that’s been carried out, it’s lovely and cosy.

“It has made a big difference – I only have to have the heating on for about half an hour to get the place warm, which is great.

“It looks nice and smart on the outside too, and I’ve got a lovely new kitchen and bathroom. I’m really pleased.”

About 90 houses are being refurbished this financial year and another 96 in 2012/13.

Kevin Hazlewood, director of property services at Homes in Havering, said: “These old concrete properties were very poorly insulated and cold. Now they are warmer, better insulated and more energy-efficient, making them better for the environment and cheaper to heat.”

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