Addressing RAAC Concerns: Dundee's Housing Safety Plan Unveiled - no help for homeowners! By Wilson Chowdhry

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London: Recent inspections have uncovered Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in approximately 800 homes across Dundee, but the majority are not posing an immediate safety threat. According to forthcoming reports to be presented to the council next week, an initial assessment of the city’s housing stock, coupled with expert structural inspections, indicates that most properties will require regular detailed monitoring to ensure their condition.

However, concerns have been raised regarding four properties where RAAC is affecting the roofs. Plans are underway to address this issue promptly, with two properties slated for partial roof replacement. Tenders for this work will be solicited as soon as possible, while the other two properties are currently undergoing assessments to determine the necessary repairs.

Mark Flynn, convener of the neighborhood regeneration, housing, and estate management committee, emphasized the council's swift response upon learning of the issue, stating, "Upon discovering the prevalence of this building material in other areas of the country, the council took immediate action to assess its extent of use locally. Having conducted a thorough investigation, we now have a prioritized plan in place to address the situation."

Affected homeowners, tenants in cottages or fully tenanted blocks of flats, as well as occupants of mixed-tenure blocks, will receive letters updating them on the situation. The council is actively engaged in the design, procurement, and tendering process for repairs to its own properties, with details to be presented at a future committee meeting.

Costs for repairs in fully tenanted properties will be covered by the council, while in mixed tenure blocks, the council reserves the right to recharge owners for their portion of the expenses, which are yet to be determined.

Dundee City Council owns approximately 12,500 homes across the city, with RAAC discovered in 81 blocks of flats and 293 cottages in various council wards. Among these, 79 blocks of flats have council tenants or are of mixed tenure, with 172 cottages housing council tenants. The council is responsible for the maintenance of 354 flats within these blocks, while 218 are privately owned. The remaining two blocks and 121 cottages are under private ownership.  On their website Dundee City Council, wrote:

"At more than 200 properties in private ownership or where there are no council tenants in a block, the council has no ongoing maintenance responsibilities and no liability towards owners who bought their former council properties under the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme, or from any subsequent owners.

"These property owners are being notified of the council’s findings and advised to urgently seek independent structural advice on the presence and condition of the RAAC at their property before undertaking any necessary action."

Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the UK RAAC Campaign Group, expressed concern over yet another Scottish council's refusal to assist homeowners affected by RAAC-related issues. "These homes were originally sold under the Government's Right to Buy scheme, aimed at fostering more equitable homeownership opportunities. However, let me emphasize that this initiative was never intended to worsen existing housing crises, which have been exacerbated by years of ineffective spending and poor building design."

"Residents from the most deprived communities across Scotland now find themselves in dire financial situations, with the looming threat of structural collapse hanging over their homes. I urge the Scottish Government to establish a national fund to provide relief to struggling families and individuals.

"Furthermore, I call upon local councils to fulfill their moral obligation to support the citizens to whom they promoted and guided the sales of these homes they built. He insists that councils must challenge the Scottish Government to provide the necessary financial assistance."

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