Housing repairs in Portsmouth are delayed after storms because of a shortage of materials

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WORKERS carrying out repair work after last month’s relentless storms have found themselves swamped with jobs.

In the wake of Storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge, untold damage was done to hundreds of homes across the region.

Damage has ranged from broken roofs to fallen fencing, creating a backlog of work that is still being carried out.

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Housing associations have urged tenants to be patient, saying they are determined to get around to helping everyone as quickly as possible.

Ed Gamson at the bottom of his garden with the wind-damaged fence. Picture: Vernon Nash (070320-027Ed Gamson at the bottom of his garden with the wind-damaged fence. Picture: Vernon Nash (070320-027
Ed Gamson at the bottom of his garden with the wind-damaged fence. Picture: Vernon Nash (070320-027 | JPIMedia
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But despite extra staff more delays are inevitable, due to both a shortage of materials and the sheer amount of work needing to be done.

One of the many people affected by the storms is Ed Gamson, 40 from Waterlooville.

The fence in his back garden came down during the storms and is yet to be replaced.

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Julian Chun from Vivid. Picture: Nisha HaqJulian Chun from Vivid. Picture: Nisha Haq
Julian Chun from Vivid. Picture: Nisha Haq | Other 3rd Party

He said: ‘With the storms the fence has come down – I contacted my landlord but nothing has been done yet.

‘People could easily walk into across into my garden and break into my home.’

Mr Gamson’s home is looked after by the Guinness Partnership, which has faced an unprecedented demand for repairs in the surrounding area.

A spokesman for the housing association said: ‘We are aware of the situation with the fence and due to the recent storms there has been a great demand for fencing works to be carried out.

Ed Gamson from Waterlooville. Picture: Vernon Nash (070320-028Ed Gamson from Waterlooville. Picture: Vernon Nash (070320-028
Ed Gamson from Waterlooville. Picture: Vernon Nash (070320-028 | JPIMedia

‘The fence is due to be repaired or replaced on Friday.’

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Julian Chun, director of property and strategic services for Vivid – which has 6,792 homes in the area – says additional workers have been brought on board to help get the job done, but a shortage of materials is hindering progress.

He said: ‘Following the recent storms, we received three times as many fencing and roofing repairs compared to other years.

‘Due to the increase in repairs reported, we’ve concentrated our efforts on making homes safe, before assessing the damage and prioritising the most urgent jobs.

‘We’re using sub-contractors to supplement our own workforce which is helping us to complete the repairs on time.

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‘We’re working closely with our suppliers to source materials despite a shortage due to the rise in demand for certain items.’

Radian, which looks after 2,343 residents in the area, has also been affected.

John Watts, interim head of repairs and maintenance, says thousands of repair requests have been sent through.

He said: ‘We are taking a little longer to complete the work.

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‘The Radian team are working extremely hard and with strong links to local contractors, we are doing everything we can to get to residents as quickly as possible in what has been challenging weather conditions.

‘As always, emergency repairs are prioritised and we continue to operate a 24 hour cover for emergencies.

‘We are doing our upmost to minimise the disruption caused by the storms in areas where we have homes.’

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