Housing firm apologises after Sunderland homes left without street lighting for five months
Housing bosses have apologised for leaving residents in the dark for five months following complaints about faulty street lights.
In recent weeks, Millfield councillor Niall Hodson spoke out about delays to works in Villa Close, near Sunderland Royal Hospital.
The property, managed by social housing organisation Bernicia Homes, is mainly home to elderly people.
However, it’s believed tenants have been left without street lights since the issue was first reported to ward councillors on January 23.
While work to install temporary lights started this week, Coun Hodson said residents have faced “radio silence” for months.
The Lib Dem called for housing bosses to personally apologise to residents for the delays.
Bernicia Homes provides property and estate services for more than 60,000 customers in the North of England.
At Villa Close, the social landlord said delays were linked to difficulties around isolating the power supply to the street lights.
With the issue now resolved, they have agreed to provide a temporary fix for tenants before the main works begin.
A Bernicia Homes spokesman said: “We apologise for the amount of time the street lights have not been working in Villa Close.
“We have been on site on several occasions with Northern Powergrid, Sunderland City Council and contractors to establish how we isolate the power supply to the street lights to allow us to fix the problem.
“That power supply issue has now been resolved. Electricians are on site to install temporary lighting at Villa Close.
“This lighting will be in place by Tuesday night at the latest.
“The temporary lights will ensure the area is well lit until the permanent lights are fully repaired.”
He added: “We’ve spoken with a number of residents and assured them that we are attending to the problem and will keep them informed of progress.
“This process has taken longer than planned and regrettably we have not met our usual high standards of customer service.
“We understand the concerns of people living in Villa Close and apologise for any problems this has caused.”
Coun Hodson added: “It’s great that Bernicia have apologised but there’s no excuse for that to have taken so many months.
“I would still like to see the lights fixed pretty sharpish.”