DAMAGED and ageing council houses in Basildon are in urgent need of repairs and the council is set to go more than half-a-million over budget in an attempt to fix them, it has been revealed.

Councillors on the corporate plan committee are set to debate the state of council homes across the borough at a meeting next week and consider repair work.

However, an agenda released ahead of the meeting has revealed that “claims for disrepair” are rising rapidly and the council will need to find the cash to fix them.

The report stated the expected cost for 2023/24 will “be in the region of £550,000 or £450,000 over budget”.

Councillor responsible for housing and estate renewal, Andrew Schrader, pointed the finger at Basildon’s ageing homes across the borough.

He said: “Disrepair claims are not uncommon, every local housing authority gets disrepair cased but why they are so high could be anything, it could be a one-off issue with a particular block that was expensive or dozens of smaller claims.

“It only takes one or two big cases, it could be big thing or a couple of roofs, we have had a couple of ombudsman cases but the exact drivers behind it, I don’t know.

“We have an aging housing stock, a lot of our stock dates back 30, 40 or 50 years which was built in the 70s which is why we are putting money into the maintenance budget and working to make homes more energy efficient.”

Mr Schrader insisted that work will be done to homes, but it is important to plan which areas are most in need.

He added: “We are aware generally that we have issues with our housing stock need investment, we only got rid of the last of the airy houses in Laindon a year ago, they were prefab that were built in the fifties and were past their life, thrown up in the aftermath of WW2, they were never meant to be long term.

“Brooke house is 60 years old, and it was build at a time when people were experiment with building measures, Langdon hills like a rabbit warren there is no single one size fits all, they are all different and they all have big issues and we are trying to get on top of this substantial programme of repairs.

“We have to go through Basildon case by case, in some cases its obvious it is past its lifetime and it is having to be replaced completely, some are easy fixes and are past their sell by date.”