Silva Homes tenants in Boyd Court have been offered £50 to help with soaring energy bills after insulation was removed from their homes over winter – only be to hit with a big rent increase.

Residents of the flats on Downshire Way were left sleeping fully-clothed and struggling to pay energy bills last December after the housing association removed faulty insulation without any replacement.

Now Silva Homes has offered each flat £50 towards energy bills. But some tenants say they’re still paying more than £200 a month on electricity. And now their rent is also set to increase by more than seven per cent from April.

Boyd Court resident Nicola Chuter told the News she thought the offer was a ‘joke’. She said: “I pay £233 a month and I’m £400 in debt to the electricity company because my flat has been using a lot more electric.”

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Silva Homes contractors removed the cavity wall insulation in August last year during major refurbishment works. The housing association said the insulation was failing, making damp and mould worse.

Boyd Court tenants got a letter from Silva Homes last month acknowledging that the removal ‘may have impacted on temperatures'.

The letter added that the landlord is looking into ‘the best course of action’ for homes with low temperatures and that it is investigating alternative insulation.

It said: “It is understandable that with current energy prices affordability can be an issue.

“Whilst we continue our investigations and as a gesture of goodwill, we would like to give customers at Boyd Court a £50 voucher per household to assist with utility costs.”

The letter also said that removing the faulty insulation had reduced the likelihood of damp and mould and that a new heating system was capable of warming homes.

Nicola Chuter said new storage heaters were working well – but without insulation, plenty of heat still escapes through the walls. She said: “Yes the old insulation was old and was supposedly crumbly. But they shouldn’t have left us without insulation.”

The £50 voucher offer to Boyd Court residents came before all Silva Homes tenants were told last week their rent is to increase by 7.7 per cent. This is the maximum amount the government allows social housing providers to increase rent by this year.

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Silva Homes told the News it is looking into alternative insulation for Boyd Court as a priority. It also said income from rent is invested back into homes and services.

It said: “We are aware of a small number of flats that have reported a drop in temperature and are working closely with customers to investigate any impact this may have on their electricity bills and to provide appropriate support.”

It added: “We are a not-for-profit organisation: rent is our biggest source of income and is always invested back into our homes and services.

“Over the next 10 years we're investing £689m into our existing homes to improve building and fire safety, make them more energy efficient and tackle damp and mould.”