Action to repair temporary accommodation at St Michael’s Gate has been welcomed despite concerns over how long the work is taking.
Enforcement officers inspected dozens of properties on the estate in Parnwell following concerns raised by MP for Peterborough Fiona Onasanya and some Labour city councillors.
Ms Onasanya had criticised the heating systems and cost of rent at some of the properties at St Michael’s Gate, saying she was “distressed” by what she had seen.
The PT revealed in 2016 that 72 tenants were being evicted from the estate and replaced by homeless families. The homes are managed by the firm Stef & Philips and now used by the council as temporary accommodation.
The council argued that if it did not use the homes another local authority would move its homeless households into St Michael’s Gate instead.
A spokesperson for Peterborough City Council said: “Our officers have now inspected all properties leased to the council from Stef & Philips and no serious issues were found.
“However, we have asked Stef & Philips to carry out some minor work on a small number of the properties, including repairing windows and doors, as well as some electrical and external works.
“A number of occupants reported that their heating systems were not effective and costly to run. We have provided advice and instructions to help ensure they can operate the systems and we have also arranged for residents to be able to change their energy tariff or supplier.”
Responding to the council’s statement, Ms Onasanya said: “I’m concerned that the observations of the council officers don’t appear to match those of the people living there. I saw a number of critical issues that need to be urgently addressed.
“Also, why has it taken so long and when will these remedial works be completed?”
Labour member for Park ward Cllr Richard Ferris said there has been some improvement in the communication between Stef & Philips and residents on the estate.
He added:“However, getting the work done is still taking too long, with completion of repairs to doors still outstanding.”
Cllr Matthew Mahabadi, Labour member for East ward, said criticisms of the properties were fair. He added: “It’s a positive step in the right direction.
“The conversations I’ve had with Adrian Chapman and Sean Evans (from the council) make it clear they are taking this seriously and are genuinely committed to improving the situations for the residents. I feel like if we can continue this momentum we will see a real positive change.”