Concerns following social housing repairs

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Apex Housing has confirmed it has had to have additional ceiling supports installed in 19 recently built social homes, following concerns raised by a local councillor.

Independent Councillor Warren Robinson this week asked Apex Housing Association to explain the circumstances which led to major repair work having to be carried out in homes in Clon Elagh estate off the Skeoge Road.

“My information suggests that 19 homes required major work and this has been carried out this week,” Colr. Robinson said. “The work involved the installation of steel beams to support the floor above.

“This situation has brought up a number of issues. Firstly that the homes were passed fit for habitation and residents were allowed to move in despite what appears to be serious structural flaws. These homes have been built two years ago and this situation has caused concern throughout the estate. I want reassurances that this situation affects only the 19 homes and that all others have been built to satisfactory standards. The other residents need reassurances that their homes are safe.

“Secondly, that these repairs are deemed essential so, therefore, major disruption has been carried out to homes that have only been occupied for two years. This means that home have recently been decorated and fitted out, some residents spending many thousands of pounds on their new homes.

“Apex has said that these residents will not be entitled to redecoration money. I believe that this is wrong because these works were not part of scheduled maintenance, they have caused major disruption and have damaged paint work, wall paper and walls etc.

“I would ask that Apex reconsider and approve redecoration and disruption assistance to these householders.”

Colr. Robinson said he was also seeking clarity that the situation that led to these repairs having to be carried out will not be repeated.

Responding to Colr. Robinson’s remarks, a spokesperson for Apex said: “The works affect the kitchens of 19 dwellings which are still within the one-year maintenance period after completion.

“The works comprise the installation of additional supports to the ceiling above the kitchen where settlement in the timber joisted floor has been greater than expected. The works are nearing completion on two of the dwellings as part of the normal snagging of the units which takes place 12 months from completion of the contract. No other dwellings are affected in Clon Elagh.

“The contractor will re-instate the affected dwellings to their original state including, if appropriate, the redecoration of kitchens.”