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Council tenants to be paid to carry out their own repairs

The Sun reports that the Government is to proceed with their scheme for council tenants to be rewarded for carrying out DIY rather than waiting for their landlord to have the work carried out.

The maintenance bill for social housing is £4 billion a year. The Tenants Cashback scheme could alo encourgage a Big Society element where community groups carried out repairs for an estate.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps says:

"Rather than having to wait for landlords to act, tenants should be able to tackle their own DIY dilemmas — and get paid for it.

"For some, this could even serve as an apprenticeship in the home and the start on a path to a whole new career.

"This, combined with the potential to bring the local community together to improve the local area, means all councils and housing associations should give residents the right to take up tools."

In the pilots there were various problems but these seem to have been overcome. Sorting out insurance liability caused delay. The danger of false claims was solved by not paying tenants for the job but having an agreed list of repairs that the tenants would carry out themselves and inspection to ensure the property was being well maintained.

One pilot is the Home Group housing association. Anne Imeson, a 67-year old Home Group tenant from Middlesbrough, has taken part.

She told Inside Housing:

"We were all given leaflets about what the pilot scheme contained and what we had to do. I couldn’t believe people called the housing association’s repairs service out to put light bulbs in. The majority of work on this pilot I was doing anyway."


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