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Covid fails to hamper work to make homes more energy efficient

Work to make hundreds of socially-rented homes in Birmingham and Telford warmer and more energy efficient has started despite the challenge of Covid.

Bournville Village Trust, a community-based housing association, will fit over 600 new windows to homes it rents to people in Birmingham and Telford.

The essential work will include installing bespoke new windows to 455 of some of Bournville Village Trust’s oldest homes in conservation areas.

The charity will also replace 1,465 boilers, upgrade 375 heating-systems and replace 1,575 front doors as part of its multi-million pound maintenance programme.

To ensure work to replace windows can be done as safely as possible during Covid, a small trial was carried out in December.

All work was completed in a Covid-safe way and aimed to make sure residents were happy with the process, standard of work and customer service.

Greg Lakin, Director of Assets at Bournville Village Trust, said: “We are pleased that despite the challenges of Covid we are still able to continue with work to make the homes that we manage more energy efficient and subsequently warmer for the residents who live in them.  

“By carrying out a small trial before we invest further, we have been able to ensure we can do the work in a Covid safe way and that residents are happy with the process and the products that we will use.

“The programme is all part of wider our commitment to providing great homes, making sure they continue to meet customer need, are well maintained and affordable to live in.”

Joyce Whitehead, one resident who has recently had new windows fitted to the home she shares with her husband Nicholas, said: “I’m more than happy with my new windows and front door. My home is around 150 years old and I’ve lived here for 36 years and it certainly feels warmer now.

“I have COPD and arthritis so I was a bit worried about having the work done but the people fitting the windows were fabulous and made me feel very safe. I feel a little healthier since the work was done and much safer which was really important to me.”

Bournville Village Trust’s maintenance programme has been shaped by residents who, before Covid, attended drop-in sessions to tell us what was really important to them in their home.

The maintenance programme will be carried out over five years and see Bournville Village Trust invest £23m into the homes that it manages.

Bournville Village Trust will work with local businesses and suppliers to carry out the work, pumping money back into the areas that it operates in.

Bournville Village Trust, founded in 1900, is a community-based housing association and registered charity. Its mission is to create and sustain communities where people can thrive.

The charity provides services to 8,000 homes in total and 25,000 people in Birmingham and Shropshire.

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