£15m fund to open for social housing improvements to tackle damp and mould

A NEW £15m fund to improve the quality of up to 1,500 social homes and tackle health hazards is set to open for applications.

From Monday 26 June, the Social Housing Quality Fund will accept applications from social housing providers for grants to fund repairs and renovation works in properties affected by issues including damp and mould.

The £15m funding was first announced by Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove when he spoke at Convention of the North in Manchester earlier this year. It came as part of a national response to the tragic death of Awaab Ishak in Greater Manchester and other housing issues across the country, and more widespread recognition that when people do not have safe, good quality housing, the consequences for their health can be devastating.

Social housing providers in Greater Manchester, including registered providers and local authorities or arms-length management organisations, will be able to apply for funding to remediate issues such as damp and mould in their properties, and in doing so improving the physical quality of housing. Grants will be match-funded by at least 25 per cent by successful applicants.

Applicants will be asked to demonstrate that the work in question is either in addition to planned maintenance, could be carried out quicker with the funding than would otherwise be the case, or both. Successful applicants will also be required to report monthly on delivery progress.

An information session for prospective applicants will be held on Wednesday 28 June, giving housing providers a chance to find out more about the funding available. Details on how to register will be published on the GMCA website.

The deadline to apply for funding is Friday 14 July, and a decision on grant awards is expected to be made in August. The application form will be live on the GMCA website from Monday 26 June.

Cllr Ged Cooney, Greater Manchester Lead for Housing, said:

“Everyone in Greater Manchester should be able to count on safe, secure housing that sets them up to get on with their lives. Sadly, we know that isn’t always the case, and when issues like damp and mould arise they can pose a serious risk if they’re not treated.

“This funding from Government is a welcome first step that will support social housing providers to carry out important work to tackle potential health hazards, prevent issues arising, and improve the quality of social housing stock across Greater Manchester. I would strongly encourage any housing provider who might benefit from this fund to submit an application.

“Beyond this, it’s abundantly clear that we need a cohesive and comprehensive approach to raising and upholding good standards in both the social and private rented sectors. That’s why we’re working with our partners and using our new devolved powers and responsibilities to bring forward a Greater Manchester Good Landlord Charter, which will recognise good practice, empower tenants, and help us to push for change where it’s required.”

Applications will be assessed to ensure that grants are being used in the most effective way possible. For the full list of terms, conditions, and criteria, visit the GMCA website.

Article Published: 23/06/2023 14:02 PM