Associations are required to have a properly resourced planned maintenance and re-improvement programme to maximise the lettable life of their housing stock.
Major repairs are defined as works to the structure of Association-owned dwellings/ property, which are remedial or essential for the dwelling to remain habitable for the tenant. Works can include:
- major works arising from structural or environmental deterioration
- replacement of or major repairs to services or component features of a dwelling which have reached the end of their useful life or
- upgrading or replacement works arising from legislative changes occurring since completion of the original scheme or rehabilitation etc
Generally, major repairs exclude improvement works, and day-to-day cyclical maintenance and are such that they do not justify an increase in rent.
Associations are reminded that they are required to have a properly resourced planned maintenance and re-improvement programme to maximise the lettable life of their housing stock.
Associations are also reminded that HAG funding is not available for major repairs.
Associations as good Landlords have a responsibility to be aware of any threat or risk to their tenants and to plan accordingly. Miscellaneous remedial works are considered an integral part of Associations’ planned and cyclical maintenance programmes
Miscellaneous Works – are defined as remedial works to specifically identified ‘components’ or ‘areas’ of Association-owned property where works or measures are necessary:
- to ensure the health and/or safety of tenants/others or
- to comply with new statutory requirements
Most miscellaneous works situations will have existed since the dwelling/ property was built/improved, at which time the problem/hazard was not known or recognised as such. In certain circumstances these may now be detrimental to the tenant’s and others health, and require work/ measures to ensure the dwelling remains safe for occupation; or property may not now comply with new statutory requirements or responsibilities on the Association as a Landlord.
Failure to take action in known circumstances or to assess the risk could leave the Association open to criticism or the possibility of legal action, or to render the dwelling uninhabitable or ‘difficult to let.’ The risk or problem posed may not be obvious and can only be assessed by specialist testing or survey.
Miscellaneous works may include:
- designing out crime
- disability discrimination order (DDO)
- energy conservation
- fire precautions
- houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)
- lead in drinking water
This is not an exhaustive list. It is the Association’s responsibility to ensure that they locate and access the latest and most appropriate information on these and other relevant matters in order to manage their housing stock effectively.
NIHE (DPG) does not normally provide funding for miscellaneous remedial works. Associations as good Landlords have a responsibility to be aware of any threat or risk to their tenants’ and to plan accordingly. Miscellaneous remedial works are considered an integral part of Associations’ planned and cyclical maintenance programmes.
Where such work is essential and complementary to other necessary grant earning work – eg as part of a re-improvement scheme – it may be included in that scheme. An exception will be made, however, for funding the first-time installation of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) to shared entrances, where the entrance is considered to be vulnerable to crime and CCTV is recommended by a PSNI Crime Prevention Officer (CPO) to provide enhanced security to the block and inhabitants, and to reduce the risk of crime.
For all other works, grant aid may be considered in exceptional cases only on presentation of a robust business case to NIHE (DPG) including demonstrating the urgent need for essential health and safety works and providing satisfactory reasons why the Association is unable to resolve the issue through its normal maintenance policies and procedures.