'We have been living in limbo' - Devastated mother still waiting for house redevelopment (From Enfield Independent)
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Distraught mother Kathleen Carter is still waiting for house in Lavender Hill to be redeveloped, two years on
A distraught mother whose family home was destroyed by a house fire is still waiting for their home to be redeveloped.
The inferno tore through Kathleen Carter’s council home in Lavender Hill, Enfield, on January 24, 2012, destroying possessions and claiming the lives of two family pets.
The 48-year-old, along with her three children, was relocated to Ponders End and was told they could return to their home once it had been redeveloped.
Despite the incident taking place nearly two years ago, the family are still unable to move back into their home of 15 years leaving Ms Carter devastated.
She said: “It is so upsetting that our home for so long is still not ready to move back into. We haven’t decorated our temporary home because we didn’t expect to be hear this long.”
The family suffered a second blow in November 2012, when the house was cleared out by home providers Enfield Homes; many appliances had survived the fire.
However, the items, that included a fridge, freezer, washing machine and microwave, were left in the front garden where they were stolen.
She added: “We lost everything in that blaze. I am absolutely gob-smacked that to this day, nothing has been done. Even the few things that were salvageable were stolen and we now have nothing.
“It has caused me and my family so much distress; we have been living in limbo for nearly two years now.
“By living in our current place, we are denying somebody else the chance of a home all because our house has not been repaired. There seems no end to our plight.”
The mother claims the family continue to pay £450-a-month rent to Enfield Homes.
An Enfield Homes spokesperson said: “We are very sorry that Ms Carter has been unable to return to her home and we will be apologising when we meet her to discuss the timetable for the works and her return.
“Her property was extensively damaged in a fire in January 2012 which affected the structural integrity of the building and meant it was necessary to seek advice and guidance from structural engineers to support the property while surveyors and loss adjusters could assess the work required.
“Since then there have been a number of delays caused by the complexity of the refurbishment required and the way the works have been managed. We expect the works to start within a fortnight and be completed within 16 weeks.
"We will speak regularly with Ms Carter throughout this period. As Ms Carter remains the tenant of the property at Lavender Hill she pays the rent at this property and is not charged rent for the temporary home that she is occupying.”
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