Affordable warmth programme approved

A report which has agreed to allocate £250,000 from the Berneslai Homes surplus to support work on an affordable warmth programme for private sector housing over the next three years has been approved.

Launching in March, at least 106 households will benefit from the overall programme, giving an average spend per property of £2,358. External funding of around £575,000 is also expected to be brought in, allowing hundreds more households to benefit.

All energy efficiency works will be delivered through the existing Better Homes Barnsley framework and the new Warm Homes and Hospital Discharge team will help to assess need and eligibility for these schemes.

The Barnsley energy tariff, the local energy supply offer provided by Great North Energy, will also be available to the residents who benefit from this programme, offering further potential for them to save money and be able to heat their homes to a comfortable level.

The programme will be fully evaluated so that further funding can be secured to make it sustainable in the long-term.

It will rely on referrals from health professionals and front-line council workers, although residents can self-refer.

Councillor Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said: "There are currently around 11,500 households in fuel poverty in Barnsley and we also have above average rates of excess winter deaths.

"This funding will allow the council to take a more holistic approach to tackling cold homes by joining up with other services to provide heating systems and insulation to the most vulnerable residents living in private sector housing."

Paul Hayes, Chair of Berneslai Homes Board, added: "Last year the Berneslai Homes Board agreed to spend some of its company surplus to support projects aimed at economic regeneration and the health and wellbeing of people in Barnsley. This is the first of those projects aimed at reducing fuel poverty.

"We want all residents in Barnsley to have a home that is warm and safe to live in."

This news is linked to Town Spirit. We want to work better together. If everyone in Barnsley does just one thing, together we can make our borough a more welcoming place where people want to live, work and visit.

#LiveIt helps us to support the most vulnerable people, making sure they can access support at the earliest possible stage.

#OwnIt by keeping your own and your family's health at its best, asking for support when you need it and looking out for your friends and neighbours.

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