Leeds Council warns council house repairs backlog could last until next April

The backlog of repairs to council houses in Leeds could take up until next spring to clear, Leeds City Council has claimed.

By Richard Beecham
Friday, 22nd October 2021, 11:45 am

A document published last week by the authority claimed the district still had around 6,000 outstanding repairs for its council housing stock, and that a lack of materials and skilled tradespeople were leading to “significant challenges”.

A senior council officer has now claimed that the backlog could last until next Spring, although any further Covid lockdown could cause it to carry on for even longer.

Adam Crampton, head of property management at Housing Leeds, told a meeting of Leeds City Council’s Environment Scrutiny Board: “At the moment we are projecting that it will take us to the first week in April to clear that backlog. But we would just like to caveat this with the winter period – we do not know what is going to happen with Covid rates in the city or nationally.

The repairs backlog for Leeds Council homes had peaked at around 19,500 at the start of the pandemic

“That could have an impact if restrictions are introduced. At the moment we are projecting a date of April 1, but there are variables around that.

“It was always something that was going to happen. [During the pandemic] we did see an overall reduction of around 15 percent in the number of responsive repairs recorded.

“That’s not because the demand was going away, it was down potentially to people’s nervousness t reporting repairs.

“We are seeing that demand return. It’s been extremely challenging.”

According to the report, which board members had met to discuss, the repairs backlog had peaked at around 19,500 at the start of the pandemic.

It added repairs for areas such as plastering, joinery, plumbing and glazing were taking longer to complete.

Mr Crampton added: “The backlog of repairs is what we are deeming non-essential repairs. We look at a number of variables which allow us to assess whether a repair is essential, and any potential vulnerabilities to the customer is something we will look at.”

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