Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Modernising some homes whilst ignoring others?

Back in May we reported about the Council’s housing improvement plans. Although we won't knock anybody wanting to improve people’s homes, a question has to be raised about the maintenance of homes that aren’t due to be modernised until the final phases of the programme are completed in 2010.

From what we've been told, many council tenants have repeatedly complained to their housing office about a variety of problems which include: broken front doors, rising damp in living and sleeping areas, faulty cookers, and (most worryingly) faulty boilers. Now this wouldn’t be an issue if they were actually fixed, but as one resident (who wished to remain anonymous) told us,

“My boiler has been faulty for nearly a year, and we’ve lost count how many times we've reported it. Each time we go to the housing office to complain a work order is placed. However, we then have to take a day off work to wait for the workmen, but often no one shows, and when they do the work men don’t have the correct parts.” Even a visit to their councillor’s surgery hasn’t resolved the issue. “All that the councillor did was to place another work order”.

So what is the council doing to maintain these properties? Is it a case of just “place the work order to keep the tenant happy”, but then not checking to see if the work is done, and wait for the tenant to come back and report it again? Or, as it seems to be the case in a number of areas, properties are to be left until the headline making “Housing Improvement Programme” rolls in. The problem with that is that people are still living in these homes in the meantime.

Despite the Council spending money on telling tenants how much has been spent on homes, the reality of living in much council property isn't even a neighbour of the spin.


Anonymous Knit Nurse said...

I understand that there is now a question mark over the future of the government's Decent Homes Initiative (which is driving these housing improvements - all council-owned homes have to reach certain standards by 2010). Apparently there is a concern that too much money is being spent on 'cosmetic' improvements such as new kitchens and bathrooms, while more fundamental structural problems are being ignored.

2:20 pm  
Anonymous Greezy Pimp said...

I get your point Nurse but surely hygienic kitchen and bathroom facilities are essential not cosmetic the models they put in are pretty basic, nothing flash just clean and functional.

1:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be frank sod the kitchens and the bathrooms, I live in a council owned property that was built in the 50's and I am still waiting for the windows to be done!!!

8:48 am  

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