Deputation to the Housing and Homelessness Committee

Hello – I’m Robyn Kane. I’m the chair of the Moredun Multis and Maisonettes Residents Association and a member of the Gilmerton and Inch community council. The resident’s association I represent has 6 high rises and two blocks of Maisonettes totalling over 500 homes. I personally have lived in the high-rises since early 2017 and have had to get in touch with repairs over the years for multiple reasons.  However, when I moved in, I had to ring for several different repairs as the flat was not in a fit state to move into when I first signed the lease.

The overwhelming issue myself and the tenants I represent are having is with the windows in the tenancies, and the surrounding problems because of the windows being in disrepair. This includes mould and condensation on, or inside the double glazing. The issue of mould, damp and condensation is causing damage to people’s physical and mental health. The overwhelming number of the tenants I represent are in fuel poverty, having to choose between food and heat, what makes this even worse is that because the windows are not airtight the cost of keeping the home warm goes up as the hot air escapes. 

Moredun Multis image by Kay Williams CC BY-SA 2.0

Reading the report, I was disappointed to read that a lot of the issues are being blamed on covid-19 as I am aware that issues have been going on longer than the pandemic. For example, paragraph 4.40, we have AOVs that where the wrong fitting in our Landings that are now being held open with a nail and some wiring. Another example is how the City of Edinburgh Council are passing the buck to Changeworks who themselves are over run to the point of non-communication for months as the waiting lists to get help are so long! 

Lastly before my time ends I would like to ask how the City of Edinburgh Council plan on actually bettering the system to help prevent the formation of mould, damp and condensation in tenancies, how the new resolution team are going to affect the complaints procedure and if this will make it even more difficult for someone to file a complaint with either the council or the ombudsman, and lastly I’d like to know how the City of Edinburgh Council plan on making these reports more assessable to the public and associations, as this report as well as the repairs report was passed onto me by a local Councillor and lack of transparency hinders my ability to best help the community I represent.

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