Evacuated Barnet Homes residents return home to Hendon

Times Series: Tracey Lees talks to the Hamdi family Tracey Lees talks to the Hamdi family

Hendon residents whose homes were rendered uninhabitable by a fire in May have been able to return home two weeks ahead of schedule.

On May 9 all of the 44 households living in Barnet Homes’ Upper Fosters in Brent Street had to be evacuated following a fire in an electrical cupboard which damaged electric wiring.

Barnet Homes, which manages the properties on behalf of Barnet Council, were initially criticised for failing to provide adequate temporary accommodation for residents but eventually offered alternative housing to all of the affected individuals and families.

It has taken eight weeks to rewire the building during which time Barnet Homes claims they have also improved the lighting and heating systems in the block.

Barnet Homes Chief Executive, Tracey Lees, visited some of those residents affected on Wednesday.

She said: “This was an unusual incident which caused huge disruption to many residents.

“It was good to meet some of them on my visit to Upper Fosters, and I would like to thank them for their patience and understanding during a very difficult period for them and their families.

“Our staff have been working extremely hard, through nights and weekends in some cases, to support the residents and enable them to move back into their homes.

“I’m pleased that we have succeeded in completing the work ahead of the original timescale and I hope life now gets back to normal for all of the residents at the block.”

Sian Stafford, one of the tenants at Upper Fosters, said: “Obviously we were in shock when this happened. But the staff were very helpful and I can’t complain about anything. I’m also really pleased with the new heating that’s been put in.

“I was lucky to get a property close by while the work was done, but I’ve got a lovely flat and lovely neighbours, so I’m really happy to be back home.”

However, not all residents are so positive.

When she was evacuated Ruby said: “I wouldn’t wish living there upon my worst enemy. We are frightened to go back there. Next time the fire could be in the night.”
 

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10:53pm Tue 24 Jul 12

Grumblepop says...

Barnet Homes Chief Executive, Tracey Lees, "“Our staff have been working extremely hard, through nights and weekends in some cases, "“I’m pleased that we have succeeded in completing the work ahead of the original timescale."

Perhaps the rest of the back office staff on their property maintenance and repairs section could work equally hard at ensuring their partners keep to their appointments given that there is a 4 working day waiting time for a repair to be done. Tenants pay their wages through ever increasing rents not to be fobbed off by disingenuous staff and excuses "our contractors work until 8 PM. "

Anybody with knowledge regarding local authority ALMOs will be hard pushed to find outsourced maintenance contractors working after 5 PM on a 40 hour week. All this is usual when a private company has been given the Social care (Barnet Group) in addition to Statutory duties of a landlord council's housing duties, without consulting the tenants (according to Government guidelines) or a ballot to return a long-term unviable quango to full council control following the fulfilment of the Decent Homes Standard programme.

Democracy at work in Barnet. Its ALL OUT THERE IN THE ARCHIVE of this newspaper, the undertakings given by an ousted Conservative party leader some 10 years ago regarding the Housing ALMOst Barnet Homes. Note the silence by the Labour opposition and the three silent Liberal musketeers now that the ALMOst that never achieved three star status, is nearer a fully private landlord waiting for two fat men in the Communities and Government office to sign it out.

Just how an unreliable ALMO, to use their own words seek " further opportunities to attract new business and build on its record of combining business efficiency with rising resident satisfaction." Question how did they come by " rising resident satisfaction?" could it be paying the tenant board members a salary (it's called expenses) Says a lot about tenant board members who sold your housing down to the waiting private wolves of One Barnet. The logo might not be a hammer and sickle or a swastika, but a curtain to hide behind.

TheBarnetGroup Ltd. as parent company to Your Choice (Barnet) Ltd. and Barnet Homes. first have to keep their appointments in order to be efficient if they expect to compete against half a handful of 3 star ALMOs fortunate to receive a small amount of business from housing associations with transferred stock.

www.defendcouncilhou
sing.org.uk
Barnet Homes Chief Executive, Tracey Lees, "“Our staff have been working extremely hard, through nights and weekends in some cases, "“I’m pleased that we have succeeded in completing the work ahead of the original timescale." Perhaps the rest of the back office staff on their property maintenance and repairs section could work equally hard at ensuring their partners keep to their appointments given that there is a 4 working day waiting time for a repair to be done. Tenants pay their wages through ever increasing rents not to be fobbed off by disingenuous staff and excuses "our contractors work until 8 PM. " Anybody with knowledge regarding local authority ALMOs will be hard pushed to find outsourced maintenance contractors working after 5 PM on a 40 hour week. All this is usual when a private company has been given the Social care (Barnet Group) in addition to Statutory duties of a landlord council's housing duties, without consulting the tenants (according to Government guidelines) or a ballot to return a long-term unviable quango to full council control following the fulfilment of the Decent Homes Standard programme. Democracy at work in Barnet. Its ALL OUT THERE IN THE ARCHIVE of this newspaper, the undertakings given by an ousted Conservative party leader some 10 years ago regarding the Housing ALMOst Barnet Homes. Note the silence by the Labour opposition and the three silent Liberal musketeers now that the ALMOst that never achieved three star status, is nearer a fully private landlord waiting for two fat men in the Communities and Government office to sign it out. Just how an unreliable ALMO, to use their own words seek " further opportunities to attract new business and build on its record of combining business efficiency with rising resident satisfaction." Question how did they come by " rising resident satisfaction?" could it be paying the tenant board members a salary (it's called expenses) Says a lot about tenant board members who sold your housing down to the waiting private wolves of One Barnet. The logo might not be a hammer and sickle or a swastika, but a curtain to hide behind. TheBarnetGroup Ltd. as parent company to Your Choice (Barnet) Ltd. and Barnet Homes. first have to keep their appointments in order to be efficient if they expect to compete against half a handful of 3 star ALMOs fortunate to receive a small amount of business from housing associations with transferred stock. www.defendcouncilhou sing.org.uk Grumblepop

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