A major makeover for homes in West Rainton that was delayed by the coronavirus outbreak has now been completed, to the delight of residents.

by Francesca

Work to replace roofs, repairs walls and improve footpaths on more than 100 believe housing homes in West Rainton has been completed. The £1.8m project covered affordable homes in streets including Fair View and Prospect View was halted when the coronavirus pandemic began.

All the homes were quickly made safe and secure, when lockdown began. But just three weeks since work was able to restart, the last of the homes has now been completed by contractors ENGIE.

One of the residents who has received a new roof, alongside repairs to her footpath and walls, is Margaret Dandy. Margaret, who has lived in her bungalow on Prospect View for 20 years, said: “They did a good job, the new roof and insulation has helped. I’m really happy with the work and it’s improved the look of the whole estate.

“Everyone’s been lovely, if I had any questions they were answered straight away. There’s been no problems at all.”  

Other residents were equally quick to praise the staff at believe housing and  ENGIE who have been carrying out the work, complimenting them on their caring approach to working with customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

believe housingis following a staged approach to gradually reintroduce more services for customers when it is safe to do so, and government guidance allows. 

Charles Tyers, Building Surveyor at believe housing, said: “When we started this project in January, we obviously had no idea of the delays we’d face due to the coronavirus pandemic. I can’t thank our customers in West Rainton enough for their patience and understanding.

“Now that outdoor work on homes can be carried out safely within government guidelines, we’re looking forward to seeing some serious progress with our improvement programme.”

believe housing’s 10-year, £138m improvement programme is designed to make homes cheaper to run and ensure high-quality affordable housing provision in communities stretching from rural Weardale to the Durham coast. In addition to the home improvements, environmental work is also being carried out in many areas. The whole refurbishment project is being carried out in partnership with specialist contractors Engie.

Jonathan Horner, Refurbishment Director at ENGIE, said: “It’s definitely been a challenging few months for all and I’d like to thank believe housing and all their residents for their patience and support.

“We’re pleased to be able to continue our programme of improvement works, where it is safe to do so, and are delighted to hear the positive impact that these upgrades are already having on residents and the local community.

“We take a very strategic and personal approach, with the aim of minimising any disruption to customers, so we look forward to progressing all future works and providing believe housing with a high-quality estate and their customers with modern homes they are proud of.”

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