£600,000 facelift for Salford’s ‘steel’ homes

A major improvement project to modernise more than 60 steel-built homes in Salford is gathering pace.

Housing association Salix Homes, which owns more than 8,300 homes in central Salford, is working alongside Oldham-based building specialists Emanuel Whittaker to transform 67 homes on the Weaste Steel estate.

The estate, built in 1948, is made up of pre-fabricated-style homes, known as British steel framed houses, which were designed and produced by the British Iron and Steel Federation (BISF).

The non-traditional method of construction became popular following the Second World War as part of a major homebuilding plan to address the housing shortage at that time, as the properties could be built much quicker than traditional brick-built houses.

The £600,000 renovation project will see the properties fitted with new kitchens, bathrooms, windows, doors, electrics and heating systems, as well as given an external facelift and re-painted.

Mark Foster, head of investment at Salix Homes, said:

“These steel-framed homes in Weaste represent a real piece of history, but are in great need of modernisation, so this project marks a key milestone in our £22 million investment programme that we are delivering to homes and communities across the city over the next two years.

“Unlike other types of pre-fab homes, these steel-framed houses were built to stand the test of time and have a similar life-expectancy to a traditional brick-built home, but after suffering from lack of investment over the years, we are confident that our improvement programme will ensure these properties are brought back into the 21st century, creating modern and desirable homes that our tenants can continue to be proud of.”

Following the transfer of more than 8,300 homes from Salford Council to Salix Homes last year, the housing provider is carrying out much-needed improvements to 2,200 homes in Salford over the next two years.

John Gallagher, director at Emanuel Whittaker, said:

“Modernising these types of properties can be quite complex and requires a different skill set than usual, however, our knowledge and expertise means we are looking forward to tackling this challenging job.

“We will also ensure that we look after the needs of residents during the works to keep disruption to a minimum and maintain our 100 per cent satisfaction rates.”

The improvement work on the Weaste Steel estate is expected to be completed by summer this year (2016).