Edinburgh City Council aims to tackle dampness in homes

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IN a report presented to the Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work committee, Edinburgh City Council aims to show the public their commitment to tackling dampness in council homes.

Processes are being rolled out now this month by the council to deliver a start-to-finish approach that aims to address immediate dampness issues within Council homes.

The report highlights that the first step will be to remove and reinstate any walls or surfaces affected, alongside work to identify the causes and address them.

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This will be complemented by the ongoing support of the Council’s dedicated Energy Advice Service, set up in 2018(Photo from Pedro Ramos)

The goal of the report is to ensure that tenants are kept up to date through more frequent updates from locality officers and ongoing liaison so they know what to expect at every step of the process.

Significant capital investment will be at the heart of the programme to remedy the root causes of these issues.

Convener of the Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work committee, Kate Campbell said: “I’ve heard the concerns raised by our tenants and recognise that there were issues with the process.

“Previously if damp wasn’t identified, but there was mould and condensation, tenants were often given a referral to the energy advice service, but too often work wasn’t undertaken to identify any underlying issues which could be causing mould, and mould was not removed as the first step.

“The first step will be to remove any mould or damaged surfaces and reinstate them. We’ll then take a robust look at what the cause could be, whether that’s leaks, issues with doors or windows, insulation, heating systems or extractor fans not working.

“After we’ve carried out these steps, we’ll bring in energy advice to make sure tenants are heating their homes in a way that works for them and is as energy efficient as possible.

council estate| Scottish News
The report makes clear that the first step will be to remove and reinstate any walls or surfaces affected, alongside work to identify the causes and address them(Photo from Ben Allan on Unsplash)

“Through this new plan and revised processes we’re taking more ownership, more responsibility and giving more support to our Council tenants to make sure they are living in homes that are safe, clean and warm and ones that they are proud to live in.”

Vice Convener Mandy Watt added: “By authorising our repairs team to tackle these issues head on, we’ve taken huge steps in the right direction. We’ll also be looking to invest in any structural improvements that are needed.

“As things progress, we’ll check with our tenants that what we’re doing works; and we’ll listen to their suggestions about any further measures we could take.

“The process for dampness, mould and condensation will be continually monitored to pick up any emerging issues, and a detailed review will be undertaken after a three-month period, to allow time for the process to be embedded and an assessment of its effectiveness can then be made.”

There was an article in Edinburgh Live, among other publications that showed the disgust of certain Edinburgh residents at the state of dampness in their council homes.