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..to expect to see evidence of a builder ON the start date we have been given for work on our new house which we've been waiting 9 months for?

(8 Posts)
ShinyHappySchmooo Mon 17-Sep-07 14:09:17

All I do is whinge on here lately.. sorry.. but I feel like shit and need to vent. In Jan we were offered another HA house that was suitable to have an extension built on, with the ground floor facilities 7 y.old DS (SN) desperately needs. We waited 3 years for this offer.

We were told we'd be in by Spring.

I am cutting a VERY long story short here but the work just never started.. hold ups with OT availability.. hold ups with OT assessment.. quibbling over the specifications once completed by OT (DS was more disabled than they realised you see.. we are constantly reminded how much over budget they are having to go to accomodate him and I kid you not! angry )...

Finally.. finally... after I snapped and cried onto somebody's voicemail at the HA, we had a visit with the news that provisionally, the contractors would start work on Sept 17th. Over eight months since we we provisionally offered the house and approx nearly six months since we were first told we'd be able to MOVE IN!

I begged for 3 weeks for someone to confirm this date. Begging is what is has become because we have no power in this situation.. we are just the "scummy" not-quite tenants of the the local-authority housing association no less.. nobody is any hurry on our account. Nobody cares that DS (15) is camping on floor of DD's little box room.. or that DH and are are now on anti depressants and have been in counselling.. that our friends who are storing stuff for us in their garages now need the space back and FAST... that DS - who can walk with a K -walker - is prevented from doing so because of space restraints on current house.. etc etc.. there is loads more...

Start date got confirmed last week. DH and I felt the first flicker of exitement in ages. Told DS (SN) that "Muck, Dizzy and Skip" would be coming to the new house to start work on his new bedroom and that we will be able to drive past and see!

Friend phoned up today and says he HAS to get the stuff he is storing for us out of his garage and can we borrow the keys to the new house to allow him to bring it over this afternoon (HA have allowed us to store stuff in the locked front bedroom of new house because of the unfeasible time that has elapsed since we were offered the house.) We told him that from today work begins so we'll have to ask HA. Drove past house on way to HA... nothing.. zilch.. completely deserted still.. not a sausage.. not even a van outside. Another depressing view of the overgrown garden that was once so neat. How I wanted to see a builder's van and an open front door.... just those things would have meant the world!

HA have just told us that "just because the contract begins today doesn't mean they'll start work today." [angry[ Why f-ing not???!! I felt like SCREAMING this in the HA office.

They have given us the key for a "free" garage to store stuff as the new house will now be a building site.

Feel so shit and scummy and bottom-of-the-barrel that we have no power over this situation.. totally at the mercy of everyone else and as if they are looking down on us. I know I am probably am over reacting but we were so looking forward to seeing the work start today.

Alambil Mon 17-Sep-07 14:15:12

omg that is horrendous

the beginning of the contract is the beginning of work, or else they are charging for doing f-all ... ??

hope it starts soon - can you ring a consumer helpline to give a deadline? not sure if that would help - what area are you in ?

ShinyHappySchmooo Mon 17-Sep-07 14:24:01

I don't think we can even do that Lewis.. we aren't the consumer helpline are we.. the housing association is. We are irrelevant until we move in, there isn't even an tenancy agreement in existence yet.

The fact the whole extension and bits of the house have been pain stakingly designed around DS (by a private OT that the HA were forced to being in.. and then quibbled with for 4 months because the could not see why she was stating what she stating re DS's needs) is apparently irrelevant.

We are irrelevant. And should be thinking ourselves lucky that we are not still on the transfer list by some families living in one room.

This has been said to us more than once. I feel I need to keep apologising that DS is costing them so much money and that we arent in a position to pay for it ourselves (DH is disabled too.)

I am very aware of others in our position. But at some stage, even if by process of illimination only, it has to be our turn surely! DS's childhood years are ticking away while his needs go unmet.

ShinyHappySchmooo Mon 17-Sep-07 14:24:47

We aren't the consumer helpline??! What am I talking about.. sorry!! I meant.. we are the consumers are we.. the HA are.

lucyellensmum Mon 17-Sep-07 15:12:56

SHS i am outraged on your behalf. I nearly didnt open this thread because i thought it was an anti builder rant, which are fine, but nothing i can offer any help on.

There must be something more they can offer you. I am not sure who you should rant at but i can offer a few ideas, i dont have any experience with this but here goes.

1. Get yourself back to your doctors, you and DH - explain to them the stress you are under because of the housing situation. There are obviously implications for your DS well being here. And your mental health. Ask him, or any other health professional you have on your side to write a letter to the HA explaining that this situation is affecting your health and wellbeing. Don't feel like you are playing on it, you are not - that is the case, its obvious.

2. Become the flea in their arm pit, get on the phone to them every day. Whether you are paying rent to the HA or you are on housing benefit, it doesnt matter, these people are getting money from you in one way or another and they are not providing you with an adequate servise. Don't give up, dont let them make you feel shitty, i would like to see them cope with what you have to cope with. Dont bother with receptionists etc, ask to speak to the housing officer, head honcho, just be a pain in the arse.

3. Ask them when exactly work is going to finish, my BIL works for a HA allocating work contracts etc and he has to provide them with start and anticipated finish dates, so if they say the dont know this, they are full of shit.

4. Take if further, speak to your local MP, they may not be able to do much, but often a letter from them is enough to get things moving.

5. If all else fails, go to the local press, they hate that.

DO NOT let these people treat you like second class citizens. The problem is i guess is they have to deal with a lot of scroungers and just class everyone the same. You clearly have specialised needs and it is blatantly not your fault, so why shouldnt you be given the help you need to care for your family. I am so angry on your behalf i could spit my teeth out!

I think it is perfectly reasonable for the HA to give you a start and finish date for this week, because i bet they have one!

ShinyHappySchmooo Mon 17-Sep-07 15:15:46

Thank you LEM. You are sweet. I had allowed this so slid depressingly off active convos because I felt better for having vented and because people had cheered my up on other threads

I do appreciate you suggested all that though. Thing is, I've done it. All of it. It's such a long saga and the threads are all on here somewhere.

lucyellensmum Mon 17-Sep-07 15:24:16

i wish i knew what else to suggest but yes, MNet is a good place to come and have a rant, it always makes me feel better, i do it alot, but over my own trivial whining, sometimes things help to put things in perspective blush

Ok.. it's been a whole working week now and STILL no sign of anyone.

The HA have just told us that the contractors have 12 weeks to do the work and that not being there the first day or so is not unusual. But it's been five days..!

Does this seem right to you? Anyone?

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