New year, same old delays for tenants

FED UP ...  Lindsey Armstrong has packed up in readiness for work starting.

FED UP ... Lindsey Armstrong has packed up in readiness for work starting.

ANGRY tenants on a South Tyneside street remain in limbo after a New Year resolution to finally complete a delay-hit housing renovation scheme was broken.

A Decent Homes revamp scheme led by South Tyneside Homes was due to be rolled out in Delaval Court, South Shields, last October.

But some frustrated tenants are still waiting for work – which includes rewiring of the properties, new bathrooms and showers, toilets, radiators and kitchens – to get under way three months on.

Yvonne Wilkinson and Lindsey Armstrong were both told that contractors would be back on site on Monday, January 6, but were informed yesterday they would face a new delay.

They were told it was due to difficulty getting sub-contractors doing the electrical work on site on time.

Renovations are now set to start on Tuesday, January 14, with residents hoping this promise is kept.

Council officials said work will resume on Monday, but admitted some homes face a delay, and will not see work recommence until the following week.

Mrs Wilkinson said: “We have had to pull up all the laminate flooring in the bedroom and the carpet on the landing. It’s the second time we have had to do it.

“The most annoying thing is we never wanted this work in the first place. We were told about it in July, but have been fighting it as we have had professional workers in refurbishing the property.

“We had an original start date of October 3, and were told it would be done before December.”

Her husband Doug added: “We want a date for the work to be done and for them to keep to it.

“We don’t smoke or drink, so we have spent every penny on the house, making it look nice.

“The kitchen had only been re-wired four years ago, so we don’t know why that had to be done.”

The couple are having the whole house re-wired as well as a new fire and central heating installed.

Neighbour Lindsey Armstrong, 37, added: “I don’t even want an apology, I just want my house done. It’s about actions now, not words.

“You are left with your life in limbo. I got a call on Friday telling me about the delay. We pay rent for a service we aren’t getting.”

The Decent Homes Standard, established by the last Labour Government, means a council property must be in a reasonable state of repair, have modern facilities and services, and a degree of thermal comfort, incorporating heating and insulation.

The scheme was initially held up last October due to a delay in the delivery of materials.

A South Tyneside Homes spokesman said: “More than 150 homes in the area have already been completed, with a further 300 to receive Decent Homes improvements.

“We are working closely with our partner contractor and its suppliers to progress the Decent Homes improvements in the area as quickly as possible.

“We are also keeping affected residents informed and providing support where needed.

“Anyone with any concerns can contact the team on 0300 123 6633.”

n Are you affected by the delays? Call the Gazette on 427 4858.

Twitter: @shieldsgazchris


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