A Northamptonshire housing association has partnered with Wickes in a scheme that will give tenants free vouchers to spend on decorating materials in the stores.
South Northants Homes, which manages almost 3,000 homes, will be handing out the vouchers as a goodwill gesture to people moving into empty properties. The organisation says it hopes the move will help to ease any inconvenience resulting from repairs and refurbishment.
It added that the main reason for choosing Wickes as the stores where tenants must go for their purchases was "the convenience of multiple store locations across the whole area that we cover. Tenants benefit from having three stores, all within around half an hour's drive."
Tenants will be able to choose whatever materials they want, and the vouchers come with a Wickes welcome pack designed to help them make the most of the gift, with advice and information on decorating.
Chris Pentland, social housing specialist at Wickes for Business, commented: "Empowering tenants to decorate their own property gives them pride in their home and ultimately goes a long way to improving the tenant/landlord relationship. Decorating vouchers give tenants the freedom to decorate their property to their own tastes and to suit their individual lifestyles.
"As well as the benefits they bring to tenants, these vouchers are convenient and cost-effective for housing associations, particularly in today's economic climate, where there is more pressure on them to spend their money as wisely as possible.
"Tenants will derive benefit from decorating vouchers only if they are fully informed on the aspects of decoration they want to achieve. For many, it will be the first time they have decorated a property and it is likely to be a daunting prospect.
"Information and guides such as the Wickes welcome pack provide valuable advice on what equipment is needed, what preparation should be done and what materials need to be purchased."