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Citizen Housing Group awarded £2.1 million to improve quality of homes in Coventry

Published: Friday 01 Dec 2023

Citizen Housing Group has secured a £2.1 million grant from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to improve the quality of their homes.

The money, which has been allocated by the Government as part of a £15 million package for social housing in the West Midlands Combined Authority area, will be used to tackle the potential hazards in homes including damp, mould and condensation.

The funding will help the group deliver a programme of works to improve the quality of homes. This will include improved ventilation and the installation of environmental monitoring equipment so that it is able to collect information on the thermal efficiency of homes.

The works are to be completed by 31 March 2024.

Citizen Housing Group are working with leading data and insights company Switchee to provide smart devices that will measure the internal conditions of the homes where they are installed.

Switchee devices measure the average internal temperature, humidity, heat loss rate (how quickly a property loses heat once the heating is switched off) and the time to heat (the time taken for the internal temperature to increase by one degree Celsius when the heating is turned on).

The Switchee dashboard that we can access will also flag properties that are consistently below the Public Health England recommended temperature of 18 degrees Celsius and therefore at a higher risk of damp and mould.

Mads Nelson, chief operating officer for Citizen Housing Group, said: “We are so pleased to have been granted the full amount of funding to help our customers across the Coventry.

“Our new business strategy is focused on making sure that our homes are safe, sustainable and that we are investing in homes to improve their quality. It’s brilliant that we have secured funding to do this, and we are working in partnership with the Coventry City Council.

“The successful bid follows our other winning bid for Government’s social housing decarbonisation funding, where we were awarded a £24 million government grant to support a £68 million programme to retrofit over 2,000 homes in Coventry.

“I’d also like to say a huge thank you to the team who put the bid together as our success will have a massive impact on our customers.”

Tom Robins, Switchee’s chief executive officer, said:

“We’re immensely proud to be partnering with Citizen to bring real, tangible changes to the lives of residents by helping them use data to tackle damp and mould.

“This is a unique partnership for Switchee, as it is the first time we have worked with the installer network to complete other work outside of installing Switchee devices.

"In this case we will be improving ventilation in properties as we install our devices to further reduce their risk of damp and mould by reducing the level of humidity and measuring the effect of the works undertaken.

"The March deadline for all 1,087 installations also sets a tough challenge but one that we are thrilled to be part of.”

Cllr Ian Courts, the WMCA’s portfolio holder for housing and land and leader of Solihull Council, said: “This £2.1 million grant will help Citizen tackle the issue of damp and mould in their homes. This is not only a health hazard for those living in them but also a major contributor to people’s poor quality of life overall.

“I look forward to seeing Citizen invest this grant into measures that will make a positive difference for those people living in homes that are blighted by this problem.”

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