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April 21, 2009 4:13 PM

Despite the recession, the Lib Dem council is determined to push on with upgrading and repairs to council housing stock.

Thousands of properties across Heaton and the East of the city are benefiting from new doors and windows, kitchens, bathrooms, and central heating.

For the first time in decades new council houses are being built for local residents, including bungalows for older residents which can help to free up larger family properties.

Councillor Greg Stone explained: "The city council is also taking over unsold private new build family homes to provide more affordable rented housing in the East End.

"This year the Labour Government instructed Your Homes Newcastle to impose a 6% rise on council rents.

"The City Council and YHN expressed strong opposition and protest letters were sent to the Government.

"The good news is that ministers have bowed to pressure and agreed the increase for 2009-10 will be halved."