Several Silva Homes tenants came to the News in the last three months of this year with stories that lifted the lid on a problem of long delays to urgently needed repairs.

The housing association has said it is still working to catch up on a backlog of repairs that built up over the pandemic. But the stories – some of them recapped here – show the delays have a human cost.

The man who built a shower in his yard

Jonathan Godsell was the first to come forward. He said he’d gone without a shower for three months after finding mould behind his bathroom walls and removing the tiles.

He said he eventually had no choice but to rig up a makeshift shower in his yard, claiming Silva Homes had not sent anyone to repair the problem. Silva Homes disputed this, saying it had sent people to try and resolve the problem but had trouble getting access.

Leaky ceiling left for months

Martin Lewis began suffering leaks in his bathroom in January. Leaks appeared in January, April and September during periods of heavy rain – leaving a hole in his bathroom ceiling in April.

The News saw videos of rainwater pouring through the light fitting in Mr Lewis’s bathroom. Yet despite contacting Silva Homes several times the hole was left for months and repair workers failed to identify the cause of the leaks.

Silva Homes sent contractors to inspect the roof and repair guttering within days of being contacted by the News.

Cancer patient left in mouldy flat

Jerry Brombley of Toll Gardens moved to Bracknell in January to be closer to the Royal Berkshire Hospital where he receives chemotherapy.

But just days after moving in he found that mould – which had only recently been painted over – began to appear on walls all through the flat.

By the time housing association Silva Homes sent contractors to fix the problem, Mr Brombley had begun chemotherapy which he says means he can’t be exposed to chemicals used to treat mould.

He asked to be moved to a new flat. But Silva Homes said it would only offer him temporary accommodation during the repairs as the flat would be “suitable for his needs” once the mould had gone.

Tenants ‘sleeping fully clothed’ after insulation removed

Tenants of some 200 flats at Boyd Court were left sleeping fully-clothed and facing soaring energy bills this winter after wall insulation was removed during major renovation works.

Silva Homes said it found out while the work was ongoing that the insulation had failed and couldn’t be replaced, as it was contributing to damp and mould.

But tenants said the move left heat escaping from their flats – making it far more expensive to heat them.