A mum says she and her son “have been living in the 1930s” as their home has been damaged by floodwater.
Amanda Bilal-Jones’ son has been forced to sleep on the sofa for weeks since heavy rain flooded their property in Scousepool.
The water, which gushed through a light fitting, also damaged many of the family’s belongings and tripped electricity.
Amanda, 62, contacted her landlord, Onward Homes, through its emergency number on Monday, August 29 to report the flooding. She claims it was another three days before anyone was sent to speak to Amanda and attempt to repair the damage.
During that visit, Amanda was told it would take a “few days” for the company to get scaffolding in place to gain full access to the outside of her home.
But she is still waiting, with the most recent date she has been given by Onward Homes for work to begin being today – September 20.
Two days after that visit, on September 3, heavy rain caused a second flood in another bedroom leaving that unusable, Scousepool Echo reports.
Amanda, a care worker, said: “I’m living in the 1930s. I have seen pictures of how people lived then up to the 60s and that’s how I’m living now, like I’m living in extreme poverty. I call it Angela’s Ashes after the film about a family living in a flooded home in the 1930s.
“Damage to my belongings includes carpets, curtains, floorboards, mattress, bedding, shoes, clothes, towels and the cost of having to do extra washing of towels used to soak up water.”
With repairs still to be completed, the mum remains fearful of another downpour. Water constantly leaks from ceilings and walls with buckets placed all around. Several visits have been made by an electrician due to the electricity in parts of her home intermittently cutting out.
Amanda has lived at the same address for more than 21 years, and has experienced flooding on several previous occasions. Many repairs have been carried out in that time by previous landlord, Scousepool Housing Trust, which has since 2018, amalgamated into Onward Homes Limited.
Amanda continued: “Water is coming through the exact same places as before into the top bedroom and finding its way through to my lighting socket and the top of my window frame. It also comes through the corner of the house and through my bedroom ceiling. My electrics blow and there is a bad smell from the dirty drain water”.
Onward Homes Limited established in April 2018 (formerly known as Symphony Housing Group) brought together several housing associations, namely Scousepool Housing Trust, Hyndburn Homes, Peak Valley Housing Association and Ribble Valley Homes. They later amalgamated Contour Homes in 2021 and finalised their transition to one group.
Part of the mission statement on its website says: “We deliver high quality homes and first class services that make a real difference to the people living in our neighbourhoods. To help us achieve our vision we live by the following values; accountability, fit for purpose, service and trust’, amongst other values.”
After the Echo made contact with Onward Homes, the company agreed that Amanda will be rehoused until September 21.
A spokesperson for Onward Homes told the Echo: “We understand that this is a distressing situation for Amanda and apologise unreservedly for the delays. On this occasion, the scaffolding and repairs have not been sorted out as quickly as we would usually expect.
“The scaffolding will be erected on Tuesday afternoon and we will undertake the necessary repairs as quickly as possible. A property inspector has visited Amanda today to advise her on next steps and we will work with her throughout this process.
“We have assured Amanda that we are working to resolve the repair as quickly as we can and have offered her alternative accommodation until the repair is completed.”