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South Tyneside residents 'can still receive thermal insulation'

South Tyneside Homes can continue making energy-saving improvements such as thermal insulation to council houses in the borough, thanks to renewed funding from the Homes and Communities Agency.

The organisation - which is responsible for managing the council's housing stock - has been working alongside the National Renewable Energy Centre (NAREC) to install selected properties with low-carbon and renewable energy fixtures as part of the government Decent Homes scheme, the Journal reports.

Mark Whittle, investment director at South Tyneside Homes, commented that when £71 million was offered to the company in 2011, it was agreed future financing in the periods 2013-14 and 2014-15 would depend on the scheme being delivered economically and effectively.

He was quoted as saying: "South Tyneside Homes and our partners have succeeded in this and we are therefore delighted that our allocation for these years is confirmed as promised."

As a result of the funding, the business can continue to develop people's homes and lives through Decent Homes, he added.

Currently, three high-rise blocks of 44 flats are being renovated as part of a £2.9 million investment supplying the properties with external insulation, new windows and improvements to communal areas.

As well as providing South Tyneside Homes with the finances to continue its present projects, the funding will also offer homes in parts of South Shields refurbishments to bring the benefits of energy-saving improvements to families in the area.

The initiative is due to offer residents new roofs, a-rated windows, composite doors, fully-fitted kitchen and new heating systems.

A further 148 council houses and 36 privately-owned homes in Hebburn are undergoing similar transformations in the form of roof insulation, internal works and rendering and cladding to front and rear elevations.

The government has invested £2.1 billion in the Decent Homes campaign, which it predicts is enough to halve the backlog of 400,000 non-decent social homes in the next four years.

Mr Whittle stated: "Tenants have given us high praise for the way in which it is run and are delighted with their homes when they move back in."

Posted by Rachel Jenkins