DILAPIDATED concrete council houses designed as a quick fix to post-war housing shortages are finally set for a revamp.

The 17 homes, in Kempson Crescent and Thomson Terrace, in Littlemore, Oxford, were built in the 1940s and made of pre-cast concrete frames and panels.

More than 60 years on, the draughty, inefficient buildings will be reclad and reroofed in a year-long programme starting next month.

Oxford City Council aims to improve the look of the properties and make them more energy efficient to reduce tenants’ fuel bills.

Jim Cooper, 69, of Kempson Crescent, said: “Without doubt it needs doing. We’ve got gaps in the wall and holes in the roof. They said they are going to do the windows as well, which is good news.”

His wife, Beryl, said: “It’s long overdue.”

David Shewry, 60, has lived in his council house in Thomson Terrace all his life.

He said: “It’s not very warm in the winter.

“They did put some foam insulation in the panels but it was a bit hit and miss. The foam worked in some places but it’s completely bare in others.

“I think the council are doing it because the Government has put pressure on them to get the houses up to standard by 2010. I don’t think they would have touched it otherwise.

“Something had to be done, as they were always meant to be temporary homes, but to my mind they haven’t known what to do with them for the last 20 years.

“In all honesty, I think the place should have been pulled down and rebuilt with brick, but this is the next best option so you can’t complain.”

Lesley Richens, who has lived in Kempson Crescent for about a year, said: “They are really ugly houses and I’m glad the windows are being done at the same time.

“They are nice inside, but they definitely need doing on the outside so I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait.”

A similar scheme, which involved an overhaul of 131 pre-fabricated council homes in Barton, took place at the start of 2008.

Martyn Mumford, tenancy operations manager at the city council, said: “The 17 council-owned houses were originally constructed in the 1940s.

“This improvement work will bring them up to a modern specification in terms of insulation and energy efficiency.

“It will also help our tenants cut their heating bills.”

Work will start in mid July in Kempson Crescent and is expected to last for 50 weeks.

The work on each property is expected to last four to six weeks, and tenants will not have to move out during that time.