Flood damage assessed by social landlord
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
A social landlord's board and tenant representatives have visited an area affected by the recent flooding.
The chair of Sovereign Housing Association's residents’ council, Simon Byng, and board member Gordon Holdcroft visited the Buckskin area in Basingstoke, where 45 of the provider's properties were evacuated and 40 flooded in February and March.
“The scale of the challenge and disruption can only be appreciated by visiting the site," said Mr Holdcroft. “The one thing that stood out for me was the positive community spirit of the residents and the fantastic response of the Sovereign team and the other agencies in supporting the residents."
At the height of the crisis, Sovereign staff worked through the night with colleagues from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Hampshire Fire and Rescue and the Environment Agency.
Tenants who were evacuated from their homes but not actually flooded are expected to be back in their homes by the weekend, once gas and safety checks have been conducted.
The priority for the social landlord now is finding longer-term temporary accommodation for those forced out of their homes.
Nine households have been rehoused in alternative Sovereign or Sentinel Housing homes, and offers have been made to 14 other families.
Lee Dillon, Sovereign’s community investment coordinator, said that there was still a need for people to donate furniture to the Community Furniture Project to help flood-affected people settle in to their temporary homes.
He said: “The people of Basingstoke have been very generous in donating unwanted furniture to help these people in need, but the scale of the problem means that we still need more,” he explained.
“With the help of Hampshire County Council, we have secure white goods for the affected residents, but we still need sofas, tables and beds. Many people in Buckskin live in bungalows and they have seen all of their furniture ruined.”