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City pledges £300k per year to tackle damp and mould in council homes
4:07pm Wednesday 26th September 2012 in Winchester
WINCHESTER civic chiefs have earmarked £300,000 a year to tackle mould and damp in council homes.
Councillors say that major investment in extraction fans is necessary to tackle the effects of condensation.
Over the next six to seven years, civic chiefs hope all council dwellings will be fitted with extraction fans to both kitchens and bathrooms.
Speaking at a committee meeting on Wednesday, Cllr Jamie Scott said: “The last thing they want is for someone to say 'Here's an instructional DVD'. They want their clothes to smell better and their properties to be dry. I'm conscious that there are young children in these properties and some of these tenants are experiencing severe cold and damp problems.”
The Hampshire Chronicle reported in June how the council had received hundreds of complaints from tenants last year and that housing bosses had held a special debate in response. The findings suggested most problems arise from drying clothes indoors or leaving windows closed for weeks on end, trapping moist air. Councillors did not feel that poor design of the flats was the primary cause.
However, Cllr Ian Tait said: “When you knock on residents' doors you soon realise that this problem needs to be addressed. There are a significant number of people who cannot overcome the necessary lifestyle change.
“I think this is an absolutely excellent report and the recommendations are excellent.”
To solve the problems council chiefs favour mechanical extract fans in the initial instance, only fitting positive input ventilation when the former has proved ineffective.
The problem is of particular concern in flats at Winnall and Stanmore. With the winter fast approaching, councillors have said the work will begin with immediate effect.