Builders' Merchants News

Pilot study for DIY social housing maintenance

Published:  15 July, 2011

LONDON: Three pilots studies go live this autumn that will see social housing scheme occupiers ‘rewarded’ for DIY home maintenance homes under the Government's tenant cash-back plan.

Home Group and Hastoe Housing were selected earlier this year to pilot the scheme that allow tenants to take control of their repairs budget.

Tenants in three locations will be able to earn B&Q vouchers or four-week rent-holidays if they maintain their home for a year to a previously agreed standard. Three different models are being tested including an option for customers to access training from B&Q.

Tenants will receive a reward for maintaining their property to a given standard rather than being 'paid' or receiving a reward for specific repairs.

The types of repairs and maintenance that customers taking part on the pilot will be expected to carry out include fixing leaks and unblocking drains, internal painting and decorating and fixing door handles and locks and other fixtures and fittings.

They will also be responsible for some external maintenance – for example, ensuring even paving within their grounds. They will not include work to gas, electric, mains and stored water or central heating installation. Any work involving ladders or high steps is ruled out.

Also excluded are removal or demolition of any internal walls or partitions in the property. Screwing, nailing or drilling into floorboards or internal walls will be out of scope, too.

Mark Henderson, Home Group's chief executive, said: "We're aware that not all our customers will feel comfortable undertaking all of the types of repairs included and partly for this reason we're pleased to be partnering with B&Q and offering training.

"We're hoping our pilot may also encourage people to save money and help develop transferable skills."