The innovative work of the Council's Housing Team across the district was up for the ‘Best Social Housing’ title after demonstrating how it had accessed around £1.2-million funding to support the upgrade of 50 failing properties - including historic almshouses.
The MJ hosted its 2022 awards gala ceremony in London, bringing together the industry’s biggest heroes and brightest stars for a day of excitement and celebration.
Director of Housing Rob Cogings said:
"We didn't win this time but this is another example of Derbyshire Dales being singled out for punching above its weight thanks to significant partnership work that continues to happen here in the Dales, with co-ownership and collaboration key elements of our approach.
"We are proud as a council to be providing help and support to community led organisations such as almshouse trusts and community land trusts, both to build and acquire new homes.
"We are also helping to renovate their existing stock and make it fit for the future by improving the energy efficiency of often old and protected buildings."The District Council supported the work of community trusts in areas such as Bradwell, Bakewell, Calver, Monyash and Wirksworth, and, in the awards submission, Ian Sharpe, Chair of Trustees, Bakewell Almshouses, said:
"We have always been hugely impressed by the proactive approach adopted by the District Council in both delivering innovative solutions to support our ambitions in developing additional affordable housing and also in improving our existing historic almshouses. The availability of grants has enabled us to examine possible carbon footprint improvements.”The Council also led a retrofit renovation programme of the Harrison Almshouses in Matlock (pictured above) - completed at the start of this year - where EPC ratings have improved from F/G to B, representing a CO2e saving of 6t at each of the six bungalows.
The scheme included internal wall insulation, insulated floors, triple glazed windows and doors, loft insulation, LEDs, new radiators, heating controls and solar panels. Additional renovations included new kitchens, walk-in showers and new electrical installations providing fit-for-purpose modern accommodation and reducing energy consumption for the tenants.
In addition, the District Council has taken the unusual step of becoming a Registered Provider to deliver a modest program of 52 council homes over the next four years. This exciting development responded to the Council’s priorities, including delivering small schemes with cash from legal agreements with developers, responding to novel opportunities, renewing failing and empty homes and providing one and two bedroom homes on small sites.