Council home improvements in Highgate delayed by “legal error”

Cllr Rachel Allison on the Hillcrest Estate in Highgate

Cllr Rachel Allison on the Hillcrest Estate in Highgate - Credit: Archant

Work to improve council homes in Highgate has been delayed due to a “legal error”, it has emerged.

Haringey Council was forced to admit this week there had been delays in appointing a company to carry out improvement works on the Hillcrest Estate in North Hill because of a problem with the “legal interpretation of the contract”.

Opposition Liberal Democrat councillors have called for the local authority to issue an apology to the residents affected and for a full investigation to take place.

The work, which is due to be carried out this year under the Decent Homes Programme - a government scheme to provide a minimum standard of housing conditions for those living in council homes.

In Haringey, the scheme includes improvements to windows, boilers, and roofing.

Lib Dem councillor for Highgate, Rachel Allison, said: “This is appalling. People living on the Hillcrest Estate have been dreadfully let down because Homes for Haringey can’t get their act together and ensure a contractor is in place to do the work.

“Homes for Haringey and the council assured me that work to improve homes on the estate would be happening this year.

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“Ensuring that there is a company in place to do upgrade works is a pretty basic thing especially when the money is there.

“I am really concerned that people on the Hillcrest Estate will not be the only ones in this position as it seems likely that other upgrade work scheduled to happen will also be delayed.”

A spokesman from Haringey Council said they were still committed to carrying out the work, but could not confirm a start date.

He said: “There have been some delays to a small part of the Decent Homes Programme. During the last five years, £155m has been invested in improvements to council homes, bringing better living conditions to nearly 9,000 families across Haringey.

“No funding will be lost due to the delays and we remain committed to the Decent Homes programme, including Hillcrest Estate.

“Despite cuts in government funding to the programme, the council is committed to completing this huge borough-wide investment to bring Haringey’s council homes up to a modern standard.”