Wigan council house survey shock

The authority says that it does regularly update its records after major building works
The authority says that it does regularly update its records after major building works

Wigan Council has failed to assess the state of its housing stock fully for a decade, a report reveals.

But the town hall has announced it will carry out a six-week “non-intrusive” survey into its homes in the new year to gain “sufficient insight into their true condition.”

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A report, presented to the housing advisory board, highlights the need for the assessment so the council can ensure its tenants and residents are living in “decent homes” fit for their needs.

The document reads: “A full condition survey has not been carried out on the stock for 10 years, and although a database has been maintained and updated as major building elements such as bathrooms and kitchens have been replaced, this does not provide sufficient insight into the true condition of the stock.”

Town hall officials also hope to “identify building components” suspected of containing asbestos within the housing stock.

Despite this concerning comment, the council has reassured residents saying that trained asbestos consultants do conduct surveys on a “regular basis” and that the council “acts accordingly” and also stores the information.

Lee Payne, council service manager for housing, said: “Not only are we committed to ensuring residents live in well-maintained homes, but we actively encourage new people to move to the borough. Providing high-quality housing is key to achieving both of these priorities.

“Despite regularly updating our records following major building works, such as recent bathroom replacements, we recognise we could improve our understanding around the condition of our current housing stock.

“We plan to carry out non-intrusive surveys on a sample of our housing stock and we will work with residents to minimise any disruption. The first surveys are due to take place in January.

“These types of surveys are a standard way for social landlords to refresh the information held on houses so that more informed decisions can be made. Residents living in the homes chosen to be surveyed will be written to specifying a date and a time.”

As a result of the audit, the town hall will aim to confirm “current levels of decency” within its supply and identify costs to remedy any failures.