Lack of tradespeople and materials causing delays in housing repairs, claims council report

A lack of materials and skilled tradespeople has led to delays for repairs on council houses in Leeds, a report has claimed.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 11:45 am
Updated Friday, 15th October 2021, 6:50 pm

The document, published this week by Leeds City Council, claimed the district still had a backlog of around 6,000 repairs for its council housing stock, claiming the shortages were leading to “significant challenges”.

The document stated: “The combined impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to present significant challenges to the repairs service.

“Nationally there has been a well documented impact in the supply of construction materials with manufacturers, merchants and service providers all reporting lengthy delays in the supply of many of the materials required to support the repairs service.

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A lack of materials and skilled tradespeople has led to delays for repairs on council houses in Leeds, a report has claimed. Pictured: Leeds Civic Hall.

“Additionally, across the UK there are shortages in the availability of skilled tradespeople as services and projects that were suspended now remobilise.

“This means that, although the repairs service is able to offer a full range of repairs, some types of repairs are taking longer to complete, with plastering, joinery, plumbing and glazing highlighted as areas of particular pressure.

“This has resulted in a backlog of around 6,000 repairs across the city.”

It added that this was a vast improvement on the figure during the initial part of the pandemic, which peaked at 19,500. It added that all these repairs have now been completed, and that the 6,000 figure referred to those raised more recently.

The document stated: “Although the service continues to try and identify opportunities for additional capacity to be introduced to accelerate completion of the backlog, due to the factors identified above this is proving to be incredibly challenging and a position that is being reported nationally and across the sector.

“Demand for the repairs service has returned to pre-pandemic volumes, which again is impacting on the timescales associated with completion of some repairs.”

The report is expected to be discussed by Leeds City Council’s environment scrutiny board on Thursday, October 22.