Prefab homes residents win fight for £1.7million improvements

Lakes Estate residents demanding action to improve pre-fab homes on the estate. Mayor Coun Fay Cunningham (R) MP Stephen Hepburn and South Tyneside Homes Brian Scott (L) with residents
Lakes Estate residents demanding action to improve pre-fab homes on the estate. Mayor Coun Fay Cunningham (R) MP Stephen Hepburn and South Tyneside Homes Brian Scott (L) with residents

RESIDENTS who have won a seven-year battle to have their prefabricated homes revamped have been told they will be given an estate “to be proud of”.

Ageing properties in Eskdale Drive, on Jarrow’s Lakes Estate, were built predominantly to house returning service personnel at the end of the second world war – and were expected to be replaced within 20 to 30 years.

Residents have called for the 43 homes to be overhauled as part of South Tyneside Homes’ Decent Homes Programme since 2008, and now housing bosses have told them the £1.7m project is due to start in July.

Brian Scott, South Tyneside Homes’ director of finance and support services and Dave Cutting, head of asset management, joined Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn and South Tyneside Mayor, Coun Fay Cunningham, to make the announcement to residents.

Mr Scott said: “We have the funding in place and the tender for the contract is ready to go out, with work due to start in July.”

The work will see an extra insulated cladding placed on the houses, as well as new kitchen, bathroom and rewiring work. Tenants will have to move out of their homes for about nine weeks while the refurbishments take place over a period of 10 to 12 months.

Mr Hepburn added: “The residents won’t have to go through another winter in freezing conditions, this will give them as much right to be as proud of their homes as they are of their community.”

Resident June Wright, who collected a petition calling for the revamp of the homes, said: “We will throw a street party if the work starts in July. These are old homes, and we feel like we have been put to the back while other streets have had work done. I will believe it when I see it.”

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