Residents of Horden accuse ‘dying village’ community of housing association
Through Kris jepson
Residents living in County Durham’s former mining village of Horden said ITV News they fought for years with the Accent housing association to get repairs and improvements to the oldest terraced houses in the village and claim the community is shattered after Accent withdrew a renovation program and began to sell their properties.
In the past year, Accent has sold 166 properties in the village of Horden, generating £ 2.8million. This money has been reinvested in places where he claims there is more “demand for social housing”, such as Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire.
To concern @krisjepsonThe special report from here:
Accent has invested £ 9million in its properties in Easington Colliery and modernized its bungalows in Horden, but it has withdrawn a program to improve terraced houses in Horden, on what are locally referred to as “numbered streets”, claiming he was “unable to provide these improvements”.
Ms Barnett says residents now have to live with empty, boarded up houses, dumpsters and vermin, saying “it’s a common site, broken glass, trash, dumped everywhere. How can people get it? endure it? How can they live like that?
“It attracts rats and they’re not small, they’re big. It’s just awful, and people are asking for goods? I don’t understand this world.”
Accent told ITV News that the subject properties in the Numbered Streets had seen a “huge drop in demand,” partly because of the “room tax” and partly because they were “unsuitable for families. “.
Accent says that despite trying to leave the houses empty, they were “not sustainable.” Each empty property, they say, costs them ‘£ 600,000 a year’. He suggested that “greater long-term investment” is needed at the local and national levels in “transportation, economy and employment” to make Horden the thriving community it once was and suggests that it, as a unique housing association, cannot solve this problem on its own.
For Accent tenant ‘Emily’ things got desperate last year for her. She wanted to remain anonymous.
Accent says there are currently “no unresolved complaints” from its residents in Horden and says it is a “non-profit” organization, which uses the money to ” meet housing needs “elsewhere.
‘To let down’
Steve Litt paid a private owner £ 30,000 for his property last year.
When he moved in, he realized that similar Accent properties in the area had been sold for half the price, although Accent claims the properties were sold at market value.
When Mr. Litt saw the condition of some Accent properties, he said he was disgusted.
Accent told ITV News that all of its current properties had “recently been investigated” for things like asbestos and where “key components” like “bathrooms and kitchens” need to be replaced, they will be included in this year’s “investment program” in “full consultation with residents”.
But Steve worries it’s too late for properties sold to absentee owners, who he says bought homes to make a quick buck.