Dad’s agony as council house ‘not safe for children to visit’

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Hull: Inside council house that's ‘falling away’

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A dad-of-four says an extension to his council house is “falling away”, making it unsafe for his children to visit.

Gary Kelly claims the work has left a large gap between his kitchen and the rest of the house.

The 41-year-old alleges that side gaps in the kitchen window allow cold air to enter the property, making it “freezing,” and preventing his children, ages five, 11, 13, and 14, from visiting him.

According to him, the kitchen itself also has problems, as the tiles, wall, and ceiling are all damaged.

Gary, who lives on Hopewell Road, East Hull, told Hull Live: “If you stand in the corner of my kitchen and just look you can see the full kitchen’s just falling away. I’ve been reporting it for years but it’s getting really bad now.

“The whole back of the house is falling off. My kids are supposed to come at weekends but they can’t because it’s freezing and I can’t have them sat here with their hats and coats on and I can’t afford to switch the heating on full blast all the time.

“There’s a visible dip in the floor. It’s making me ill. I’ve got a really bad chest.”

He said he had contacted KWL, the construction firm that is owned by Hull City Council, which sent someone to his house on December 9 with a single tube of mastic.

Gary said he first reported the problem on September 9, and he was told by KWL that they will need a special non-setting mastic that will take four months to arrive, but he believes they were just “fobbing him off.”

On December 16, Mr Kelly said someone from KWL came to his house and put expanding foam on, but he believes this is a “temporary fix that they could have done months ago.”

He added that so many different people have come to his house to look at the problems, but nothing has really been done about it.

Hull City Council said temporary repairs had been carried out and a full structural survey will be carried out on the property.

It said it would take action on any recommendations in the survey report.

Gary said: “All they do is take photos and then they go away and then they’ll send somebody else to take photos and they’ll go away.

“I think it’s KWL that came but there are that many people that come and just take photos I’m losing track.

“Every time I ring them (KWL) they put the phone down because I keep saying this non-setting mastic doesn’t exist.

“When they say they’re waiting four months for one tube of non-setting mastic it’s a bit hard to believe.”

Despite the damage in the house and inadequate living conditions, Mr Kelly says he is still paying rent.

He questions whether it is reasonable for him to still have to pay rent but he does because he knows it is still a requirement.

A spokesperson for Hull City Council said: “We are pleased to report that temporary repairs were completed last week on 16 December, and our tenant has said they are happy for a full structural survey to be carried out.

“Once we have the survey report we will take action on any recommendations.”

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