Posts tagged housing associations

Citizens Advice signposts consumers to find reliable tradesmen

The Citizens Advice Bureau and TrustMark, the Government endorsed quality body, have joined forces to help homeowners find reputable tradesmen when they are looking to repair or maintain their properties.

Consumers from across the UK will now be able to search and select a TrustMark registered and inspected tradesman from the Citizens Advice website.

Homeowners in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have the assurance that all the firm’s competences and their fair trading practices have been independently inspected and checked.

Stuart Carter, Head of Marketing at TrustMark, said: “We are always looking for better ways to increase visibility for this quality mark so we are delighted that Citizens Advice is now signposting consumers to our TrustMark registered tradesmen.

“It is important that we continue to do more joined-up working with the key agencies, independent third sector organisations, trade bodies and advisory services to help consumers make more informed decisions when hiring tradesmen to improve or repair their homes.”

Gillian Guy, chief executive at Citizens Advice, said: “TrustMark is an excellent example of the kind of creative problem prevention initiatives that we really value at Citizens Advice.”

What is your reaction to the partnership which aim is to help consumers make the right choice when they are looking to repair, maintain or improve their homes. Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Good News for the Trades: Millions of Funding to Create New Jobs

“Hundreds of plumbers, electricians and gas engineers to benefit from the investment”

Millions of funding to get low carbon heating into peoples’ homes, including into hundreds of social houses across the nation, is still up for grabs according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Local authorities, housing associations and registered providers of social housing are being urged to benefit from the millions of pounds available from the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP).

The scheme will replace more renewable heating systems, including biomass boilers, solar hot water panels and heat pumps, creating new employment opportunities for plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.

The RHPP has reopened thanks to the high value for money of projects already allocated funding under the scheme which will make tenants’ homes warmer, cosier and far more energy efficient.

Today, the DECC announced that up to £2.5 million of additional funding will be allocated under this element of the scheme.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “We have already awarded nearly £5 million to 72 projects under this year’s scheme, helping householders stay warm this winter and move away from expensive old heating systems to new clean renewable ones.

“But the high value for money of the bids we have received to date means that there is still money up for grabs and I would urge social landlords across the nation to apply and take advantage of all this scheme has to offer.”

The closing date for applications is 9 October 2012 and successful bidders will be announced shortly afterwards. You can find out more about the scheme and how to apply from here.

What is your reaction to the reopening the of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme which will bring financial investment to the trades and create new jobs in the industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

HCA Confirms Investment for New Affordable Homes

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has granted £70 million to local authorities, housing associations and other home providers in the UK to bring empty properties back into use. This will deliver more than 5,600 new affordable homes, boosting the building construction industry and creating new jobs.

The £70 million investment will fund the refurbishment of properties which have been standing empty for a minimum period of 6 months. There are currently 700,000 empty homes in the UK that are not in use. The Empty Homes Programme, which is part of the HCA’s main Affordable Homes Programme 2011-15, will bring a considerable number of those homes back to live.

Chief Executive of the HCA, Pat Ritchie, said that the issue of providing more affordable homes across the country will continue to be a priority for the government and the HCA.

Mr Ritchie said: “One of the HCA’s key aims is to maintain a supply of affordable homes. With thousands of homes and properties lying empty across UK, we have a leading role to play in tackling the issue of empty homes blighting our communities, and this funding is welcomed. The high level of interest we received by providers bidding to participate in this programme demonstrates just how important of an issue this is.

“I am pleased therefore to be able to confirm our funding allocations for this spending period. Every part of the country is set to benefit, and we will be continuing to work closely with our local partners to maximise the allocations and deliver value for money in those areas where the need is greatest.”

The government has allocated in its Comprehensive Spending Review a total investment of £100 million for the Empty Homes Programme.  The remaining £30 million will be made available exclusively for community led groups at a later stage of the scheme.

What is your reaction to the £70 million investment to refurbish thousands of properties and provide more affordable homes across the country? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:  

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