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Residents told to leave their houses after RAAC was found

12 Mar 2024 4 minute read
Four privately owned properties are also said to have RAAC in them.

Anthony Lewis, local democracy reporter

Residents who have been told to leave their houses after around 44 properties were found likley to have RAAC in their construction, have spoken of their fears.

Surveys carried out by housing association Trivallis in in Hirwaun, have shown that two properties have been affected by RAAC (Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete). A further 38 Trivallis homes have the same design and four privately-owned properties are also understood to be affected potentially.

Trivallis has advised its tenants to move out of their properties immediately so it can survey people’s homes

The streets impacted include Caswell Close, Langland Close, Rhossili Close and Limeslade Close.

Bombshell

Carol Evans is one of the private home owners affected and said the news had been a “bombshell”, saying that Trivallis came to the door with a letter and said she needed to get her own independent surveyor in because she’d bought the house.

She said Trivallis had been to other people and said they should be out of their homes, which she said was “ridiculous.”

Carol said those who had bought would “get together and see if we can do something and get help to have things done.”

Trivallis tenants Christine Williams and Helen Simons, along with fellow tenants, Leanne Davies, Kelly Williams and Laura Lacey, said they were still in shock at the news.

They said that it was in the ceiling as initially they all had flat roofs but then apex roofs were installed and it had been discovered that because of the attics, the structure was not safe.

Critical

Christine said her property was one of those houses which had been surveyed and was judged to be “critical” and that she’d lived there for 37 years and had never experienced anything like this.

She said Trivallis suggested that they had to be out immediately but they decided to stay until they had to go, saying “I don’t feel safe leaving stuff and moving into a hotel. God knows how long we will be there for.”

Christine added that they would all have individual assessments for their properties, adding “none of us have slept.”

She said: “We could’ve gone out to Ty Newydd. We could’ve been there for God knows how long until everyone has been assessed. We don’t know and they don’t know themselves.”

She said they wanted residents out as soon as possible on health and safety grounds and she added that Trivallis did understand that they didn’t want to leave their homes.

Christine said her attic “doesn’t look safe” adding that it was “upsetting for the whole estate not just us”, especially for private home owners with costs of things like solicitors and surveys as they and Trivallis tenants wouldn’t have to worry about things like that.

There’s a meeting planned to figure out the next step but they all agreed that the scary thing is the not knowing.

Christine added: “I am scared. People have been panicking. Nobody’s sleeping.”

Temporary accommodation

Trivallis said it was providing temporary accommodation while it surveyed people’s homes. A spokesperson said: “Trivallis is finding temporary accommodation for tenants to stay in while it surveys their homes and plans what needs to be done to ensure they are safe.”

Chief executive Duncan Forbes stated: “We understand that this is frightening and disruptive to those affected, but their safety is our main concern. We have a zero tolerance for risks to tenant safety which is why we are advising people to move out of their homes as quickly as possible.

“Trivallis fully understands the gravity of the situation and the impact it has on residents. It is dedicated to addressing the immediate needs of those affected. We appreciate the understanding and co-operation of our residents and the community during this challenging time.”

Tenants who wish to move immediately are being offered hotel accommodation nearby or others may wish to stay with friends and family and Trivallis said it would work with all tenants affected to ensure their accommodation needs were met.

Trivallis said there was a team onsite providing support to tenants and a dedicated phone line – 01443 494559.


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