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Sandwell Council pilots loft conversion scheme

The first loft conversion in a pilot scheme to ease overcrowding has been completed in Sandwell.

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Housing provider Riverside, which manages the property for Sandwell Council, unveiled the two-bedroom loft conversion last week.

Simon Hackett, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for housing, said he had been ‘delighted’ to see the successful work on the first home in Harvills Hawthorn.

‘I asked for this pilot scheme this year because I firmly believe that a loft conversion can allow over-crowded families to stay in their homes,’ he said.

The council aims to complete six or seven similar conversions each year.

‘This scheme will allow us to help those people we are unable to assist at the moment because of the lack of housing stock,’ Mr Hackett added.

Paul Jones, assistant director of operations at Riverside Midlands, said: ‘Being able to provide the additional two bedrooms will bring much-needed space for the tenant and her five children, without having the disruption of moving them to another property.’

Riverside manages more than 1,072 homes on two estates belonging to Sandwell Council under the government’s private finance initiative. It is responsible for managing homes and providing housing services to these two estates until 2031. Overall more than £200 million will be spent on the PFI project between 2006 and 2031.

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