'We're sorry': Hackney Council apologises after pandemic repairs backlog

Hackney Council's repairs service will be getting a funding boost after a backlog which has caused delays

Hackney Council's repairs service will be getting a funding boost after a backlog which has caused delays and distress for residents - Credit: Sean Pollock Photographer

An extra £1million will be injected into Hackney Council's repairs service, following a backlog of around 7,000 repairs due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

In a statement released on December 6, the council apologised to the tenants and leaseholders it has "directly let down" after it was only able to provide emergency repairs across council properties during the Covid crisis and council workers had "limited access to residents' homes". 

The backlog has led to delays and so, the council has promised to tackle the issue over the coming months. 

Cllr Clayeon McKenzie, cabinet member for Housing Services, praised council repair staff for "working hard" during the pandemic and "often putting themselves at risk".

"But we also know that residents are rightly frustrated that they are waiting too long for us to fix things," the councillor said. 

"As a council leaseholder myself living on one of our estates I have personally seen the impact of our repairs service not being up to the standard we expect.

"I know that residents are struggling to report issues to us and are unhappy that we aren’t getting repairs right the first time. We hear them, and we’re sorry."

As well as pumping £1m into its repairs service, the council will be recruiting more than 30 staff to ensure leaks, electrical problems and other housing issues are fixed more quickly. 

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The more than 30 staff will include, 20 extra repairs workers and 12 extra call centre employees.

The council also aims to check-in with elderly residents, complete an urgent review of serious cases and to provide dedicated temporary properties for tenants with serious repair issues.

It also reports that engineers have fixed the Shoreditch district heating system which was experiencing outages recently.

"We’ll prioritise the most urgent cases first, and we’re asking all our residents to be patient while we work through the backlog as quickly as we can," said Cllr McKenzie.

To report a non-urgent repair call 020 8356 3691, Monday to Friday from 8am-7pm and on Saturdays at 9am-4pm. 

Or visit the council's live webchat service at hackney.gov.uk/repairs, Monday to Friday from 9am-4pm.