Thursday, 5 March 2009

Decent Homes?

Everyone knows that having the builders in can be a stressful experience. It is something that a lot of Homes for Haringey Residents are experiencing right now, as their flats undergo the ‘Decent Homes’ improvements.
As a resident on a Homes for Haringey estate, I am keenly looking forward to having new windows, external doors and maybe a new roof. The windows will hopefully greatly improve the damp issue as well as providing better insulation against heat loss.
The fact that my estate won’t be deal with until the final year of the Decent Homes programme (2012-13) is however a problem. Homes for Haringey Chief Executive Paul Bridge has told me that he is asking the government for permission to complete the Decent Homes improvements in 4 years instead of 6. Apparently, this is infinitely do-able. Whether the Government will sanction this schedule change is another matter.
A few Sundays ago I was passing through Stroud Green and saw a great many Homes for Haringey blocks undergoing the Decent Homes improvements. Some had scaffolding up; some had new windows already in place. My hope is that a good job was done and that these improvements have increased the quality of life for residents.
I was however distressed to see that some of the blocks had been left in quite a state over the weekend. The above pictures were taken at Norman Court on Stapleton Hall Road. ‘Heras’ fencing splayed everywhere, tubes of sealant on the ground, tools abandoned in the grass…I was shocked that the residents had been left with this mess to look out on to. My hope is children didn’t get the chance to play in the mess.
It is great that improvements are been made to estates in need, but every effort should be made to ensure that contractors treat premises with respect. What is Homes for Haringey doing to ensure this happens? Who is monitoring the quality of the work and the way in which the builders are operating on a day to day basis? We would be very interested to hear from Homes for Haringey residents who have experiences of the Decent Homes programme, both good and bad.

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