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External wall insulation to single and two storey dwellings
undertaken as part of schemes assisted by the council.
Over the last 5 years the council has assisted many owner occupiers to secure external wall insulation (EWI) for their principally 2 storey homes.
With the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy we wanted to provide an update to residents on the 'cladding' that has been used in the EWI schemes.
Each EWI scheme supported in full or part (either by grant or loan) by the council:
Required and received the relevant Building Regulations Approval;
Required and had a relevant BBA
Agreement Certificates of compliance for the material used for insulation.
The Agreement Certificates are recognised by building control, governmentdepartments, architects, specifiers and industry insurers.  
It's a mark of quality, safety and reliability that provides reassurance of the product's fitness-for-purpose.
The council is reviewing all building regulations applications received since 2000 which relate to cladding of buildings and are prioritising those properties where sleeping takes place (dwellings,hotels, institutions etc). The priority for the review is high-rise (18 metres or higher), medium rise and low rise premises.  
As the list is quite large, that piece of work will take some time to complete. As a separate check a range of the low rise schemes have been reviewed and those checked so far did not contain Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) which is the material that was used at Grenfell Tower.
West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service wish to remind all residents that if they are concerned about fire safety in their own home that they can contact them direct for a Safe and Well Check which includes a home fire safety check. Their contact number is: 0800 389 5525.
New project helps landlords fight fuel poverty
A Community Interest Company called Warm Zone in partnership with Walsall Council have launched a new initiative to help landlords of private homes in Walsall get help with improving the heating and or insulation of their properties through access to a fund totalling £120,000.
Councillor Diane Coughlan, Walsall Portfolio Holder for Social Care said: “This new partnership brings Council money and funds secured by Warm Zone to landlords to help make their properties better for local tenants. This is another way we are helping tackle fuel poverty in the borough and I urge landlords to contact Warm Zone to see what help is available.”
Lorraine Gumbs, Regional Manager of Warm Zone said: “This is really exciting and is one of the first schemes of its kind in the UK to directly help landlords improve their properties. To find out more and apply landlords with properties in Walsall can get in touch with us on 08000 33 7697 or 0121 552 0563.
Supported Housing Accommodation in Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
Following detailed public, stake-holder and service user consultation and comprehensive analysis of demand the council re-commissioned the provision of supported accommodation within the borough in 2014/15. The re-commissioning highlighted that there had previously been:
An oversupply of supported accommodation for single people, young people and for families (including ‘mother and baby’ units)
A supply of supported accommodation that didn’t meet service users needs:
Large concentrations of people accommodated at the same property;
Shared family accommodation
The re-commissioning resulted in a reduction in the number of units / bed spaces supported by the council and for families the change from shared to self-contained accommodation with outreach support.
New enquiries
Since the re-commissioning, summarised above, the council has received enquiries from a number of organisations seeking to re-introduce supported accommodation within the borough in HMOs. The council does not support the introduction of new supported accommodation in HMOs and is not expected to change this position for the remainder of the 2015/16 or 2016/17 financial years.
Based on the above where planning applications are required and received for changes of use of development of Supported Accommodation (within Houses in Multiple Occupation) the Housing Service will be likely, unless in exceptional circumstances, to respond to consultation indicating opposition to the proposal.