Midland Heart will be replacing more than 1,600 kitchens and bathrooms in its properties across the Midlands region in the year ahead.
Chief Executive Glenn Harris recently met some of the tenants who are getting new kitchens and bathrooms, as well as staff from one of the contractors carrying out the work as part of a multi-million pound refurbishment programme.
Glenn said: “It was an excellent and informative visit; it’s always good to experience the positive partnership working that exists between Midland Heart teams and our contractors in delivering a high quality product to our customers.
“More importantly, I really enjoyed meeting customers who are going through the process of having their kitchens and bathrooms replaced. This gives me a real feel for how much this is appreciated as well as being able to see first-hand how our refurbishment programme lifts the quality of our existing homes.”
Among the customers Glenn met was Peter Davies who said he was delighted with the new kitchen currently being installed in his Sandwell flat.
Peter commented: “I’ve been living here for two years — the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere — and getting this beautiful new kitchen has given me the motivation to take good care of it and also spruce up the rest of my home. The kitchen is everything I could have wished for.”
Midland Heart is working with the contractors Lovell and J Tomlinson to undertake the programme and Glenn toured Lovell’s warehouse at Oldbury before looking at ‘before and after’ kitchens and bathrooms at Aviary Court, West Bromwich and Ledsam Grove, Harborne.
Alison Archer, Contracts Manager at Midland Heart, said: “This is a rolling programme of improvement and a significant investment. We replaced 757 kitchens and 454 bathrooms in our properties between January and December 2018 and for the same period this year the figures will increase to 933 kitchens and 701 bathrooms.
“This shows the importance we place on improving our existing housing stock and consequently the quality of our tenants’ lives.
“In addition to these planned replacements we also have a budget set aside for renewing any damaged sanitary ware and kitchen units in our void properties before they are re-let.”
Customers getting new kitchens are involved in the planning and design of the room and are able to select a kitchen unit, worktop and handle set with a tile choice and flooring from a range of finishes and colours. Electrical wiring into the kitchen is also replaced to ensure it meets regulations and the makeover includes a full paint redecoration of the room.
Alison added: “Involving our customers is an important element of our kitchen replacement programme. Our designers Rixonway work with each individual customer to ensure they were happy with what they have selected and then provide them with a 3D image of their new kitchen.”