Housing and regeneration specialist Keepmoat, in partnership with Oldham Council, Oldham Clinical Commission Group (CCG) and Oldham Housing Investment Partnership (OHIP), has continued to build on the successes of the first year of the Warm Homes Oldham scheme by helping a further 1,247  local people out of fuel poverty.

During the second year of the programme, which has attracted over £900,000 of external funding including Energy Company Obligations and Green Deal (HIF and Communities), has installed 307 new boilers, insulated 104 lofts and completed 71 solid wall installations; saving the average household over £1,000 per annum.

An independent evaluation on the affect the scheme has had on people’s health has also been carried out. The results show that there has been a statistically significant change in almost all variables, including improvements in fuel poverty, general health and wellbeing, life satisfaction, and condition of homes.

Further analysis was also done by the CCG on the healthcare usage before & after the Warm Home intervention for a sample of 795 people. The results are impressive over the short timescales involved showing that A&E attendances for the participants had gone down by 2% and emergency hospital admissions by 32%, with an estimated saving of nearly £40,000 to the CCG.

The Warm Homes Oldham scheme also recently scooped the National Housing Excellence Award for ‘Best Partnering scheme’. The winner was decided by an independent panel of industry experts who were looking for positive examples of partners who have successfully worked together to achieve a common goal or aim and have also worked collectively to benefit local communities. This builds upon the team’s success at last year’s Sustainable Housing Awards, where the Warm Homes Oldham scheme scooped Sustainable Housing Partnership of the Year award.

Nigel Banks, Group Sustainability Director at Keepmoat, commented: “The amount of people who have benefited from the Warm Homes Oldham initiative is absolutely phenomenal and to be recognised for this work at a national awards ceremony is brilliant. The team have been fantastic with this project and I’d like to thank Oldham Council for being a fantastic partner over the past two years as we work together to improve the lives of local residents.”

Councillor Dave Hibbert, Oldham Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Transport, said: “The Housing Excellence Awards are widely recognised as the ‘industry event’ of the year so this honour for Warm Homes Oldham is the icing on the cake. Since the council and our partners started this scheme more than two years we’ve been able to help to greatly reduce the number of residents who have been living in cold homes with outdated heating systems. The results of these interventions have seen not only a welcome improvement in residents’ health and wellbeing but also a significant reduction in their fuel bills.

He continued: “The scheme is a good example of how we are working co-operatively with our partners to not only deliver quality assured property improvements, but also useful advice and practical help with other things such as dealing with fuel debt and benefits advice.”