A FREEZING cold council tenant says she has been forced to sit in her house in a sleeping bag after building work was suspended on a South Tyneside street.
The Gazette revealed yesterday a Decent Homes renovation scheme led by South Tyneside Homes in Delaval Court, South Shields, had been halted.
Lisa Redman, 35, who lives with mother, Gladys Redman, 54, and stepfather Malcolm Sample, 55, says work had already been started by builders, with carpets in the property removed and a hole left in the wall for a dryer to be fitted.
Miss Redman said: “I am having to sit in a sleeping bag in the house, because it is freezing with no carpets.
“There is also a hole in the wall where the dryer is to go. Mice could get into it.
“It is absolutely terrible. My mum suffers from bi-polar disorder and my stepfather has just had a heart attack. They don’t need this.”
Work started on their property on September 20, but was stopped at the start of this week with no date yet set for when it will re-commence.
Miss Redman added: “We have put all our possessions away into boxes and we don’t know if we want to unpack, as we may have to pack it all away again.”
Stepfather Malcolm Sample added: “It makes you feel mad. I don’t know how this could possibly have happened. I have recently had a heart attack but wanted to be out of hospital to help my partner while the work was being carried out.
Gladys Redman added: “We were told the work it would be finished in about 15 days. I suffer from bi-polar disorder and have been doing well, but the stress of this has really set me back.”
The extensive revamp on homes in the street includes rewiring of properties, new bathrooms and showers, toilets, radiators and kitchens.
South Tyneside Homes says it is working hard with its partner contractor and supplier to get work started again soon.
Housing bosses met contractors yesterday in a bid to resolve the suspension of work, caused by a delay in delivery of certain materials needed by tradesmen to carry out the job.
Brian Scott, director of housing, finance and business Support, said: “We will be contacting all of the residents affected to update them on the actions being taken to resume the programme.
“The commencement of work to some properties has been suspended temporarily. We have visited all homes in progress or in planning, to notify the residents of the situation, and any support or assistance needed will be provided by the South Tyneside Homes Delivery Team.
“We will communicate with residents as soon as the issues have been resolved.”