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Mayor Dorothy Thornhill: Watford Community Housing Trust's work is 'aspirational'
Politicians have praised Watford Community Housing Trust for fulfilling its hand-over promises to improve social tenants’ homes.
Watford’s elected mayor Dorothy Thornhill lauded the organisation for taking an "aspirational" approach to social housing and neighbourhoods.
The comments come after Watford Borough Council had the work the trust has done over the last five years independently audited to see if had kept its pledges.
The trust took over the council’s housing stock in 2007 following a vote by housing tenants.
A report to Watford Borough Council’s ruling cabinet said in that time the trust had spent £66 million upgrading the town’s social housing stock.
This had seen 2,171 kitchens and 1,645 bathrooms refurbished as well as 2,219 doors replaced.
The report said 226 kitchens, 154 bathrooms and 27 doors had not been upgraded as tenants had not provided access for the work to be carried out.
At a meeting on Monday, Mayor Thornhill said she was pleased with the trust's work as the council would not have been able to upgrade so many homes.
She said: "I knew we could not give the tenants what we wanted to and what they wanted. I think the trust have gone way beyond that. At first I was a bit sceptical about the extra things they were doing that it would be a distraction."
Mayor Thornhill said the trust was not just looking at houses but also the neighbourhoods as a whole and how to provide unemployed tenants with skills to get back into work.
She added: "That is really aspirational and not something we would have been able to do."